editing cheat sheet 1-6
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a total of
Delete. John took the class a total of seven times means the same as John took the class seven times but has three more, unneeded words.
A while is the object of a preposition. Steve will be gone for a while. Also use for expressions such as a while ago and a while back.
Awhile is an adverb. Lisa plans to visit awhile.
spelled wrong. Correct is accidentally
notice it's cc and mm
Someone is accused of a crime, not accused with a crime. Avoid suggestions an individual is being judged before a trial. Do not use a phrase such as accused slayer Bob Badbuy. Write Bob Badguy, accused of the slaying...
active voice/passive voice
Look for key words such as by, is, was and were to determine voice. The test was given by a math professor should be rewritten as A math professor gave the test.
Worthless words. If you actually use that word, you're actually telling me something is actually true.
Just tell me (in fewer words).
Best to consult AP book. In general, you need to know when to abbreviate or spell out street names, compass points and numbers. The rules vary.
Do not use for say. Admit denotes wrongdoing, guilt.
adpot, approve, enact, pass
Amendments, ordinances, resolutions and rules are adopted or approved.
Bills are passed.
Laws are enacted.
Averse means you don't like something.
Adverse is an adjective meaning bad.
Larry was averse to the adverse conditions.
Affect, as a verb, means to influence.
Effect, as a noun, means result.
8 is fine. Always use the number when dealing with ages. Do not use the awkward The 8-year-old girl.
Write The girl, 8, ....
Aggravate means to increase or make worse. Only existing conditions can be aggravated. He didn't want to aggravate the injury is correct.
He didn't want to aggravate his journalism professor is wrong unless the professor was angry in the first place. If you're starting to bother someone, that is irritation.
notices it's gg and ss
aid is assistance. aide is someone who serves as an assistant.
Not a word. The same is true of medivaced and helicoptered.
Flown will fit in nicely.
Use carefully. Avoid any suggestion the writer is making an allegation. Specify the source of an allegation. Do not use alleged as a routine qualifier. Use apparent, reputed, reported...In most cases, try to find a way around it. Try to document any charges.
Often redundant. Ray, Steve and David all went to the Elbo Room. Remove all, the sentence is fine.
To allude to is to speak of something without specifically mentioning it.
To refer to is to mention it directly.
This is two words, not alot.
A lot of people incorrectly think this is one word.
a myriad of
Redundant. Myriad is fine.
Avoid using acronyms after the full name has been spelled out. It should be clear on second reference what the acronym means. This clutters copy.
Never write Florida International University (FIU)....
It's not all right to write alright. Do you write alwrong?
Not synonymous with while.
Although is contradictory; while is simultaneous.
Although I like grammar, I detest learning it. While I was talking on the phone, I was reading a book.
Use sparingly to start a sentence; better used as a conjunction.
Awkward. Try to rewrite.
One option: The city or county or both will finance the project. Not: The city and/or county will fund the project.
Anticipate has action attached it it, to consider in advance. Expect means to look forward to a probably event, to consider something as likely or possible.
Larry and Jane look expected a huge crowd. They anticipated it by adding four kegs to the order.
You are anxious to go to the dentist. You are eager to pick up your $2 million after winning the lottery.
About. Also use about instead of roughly for estimates.
There is some debate about this phrase, but avoid it to be safe. Saying someone is arrested for doing something can be taken as meaning the person committed the crime. Instead, depending on the situation, use charged with or arrested on a charge of or arrested on suspicion of.
Almost always butchered. Use for as a coordinating conjunction (connecting words or phrases or clauses of equal rank, usually between sentences or independent clauses.)
Tip: Use if you can substitute "because." Often denotes inference: The students didn't know of the as/for rule, for they were ignorant of it. He will not fail to be here, for he is always reliable.
Be careful not to confuse prepositions with conjunctions. Using the preposition like as a conjunction is the most common error of this kind. It looks like it might rain. But: It looks as if it might rain. Alec looks like his father. But: Alec teaches class about as well as his father. Use as if to introduce a clause, like to introduce a word or phrase.
as of late/of late
Awkward, stilted phrases meaning lately.
Assault, legally, almost always means to threaten violence, as in pointing a pistol at someone without firing. Assault and battery is the legal term when the assaulter touches the victim or something the assaulter puts in motion touches the victim.
Use of or the other; using both is awkward. If you know the time something happened, use at; if you need to use an estimate, use about. As always, avoid approximately.
at the age of 71
At 71 is fine.
at the corner/intersection of
Redundant. At Broadway and University means at the intersection of those streets.
If you have a law degree, you are a lawyer. When someone hires you, you are an attorney.
More than one attorney.
Be careful not to use attribution as a throw in spot for unneeded information. Either find a different home for the information, preferably a new paragraph, or leave it out. The best approach is straightforward.
"It's hot," John Doe said. Do not write: "I think it's a lot like my pinkie," said Majerle, who broke the digit on his shooting hand a week ago, sat out one game, and experienced enough.."
Each quote needs attribution; each quote needs only one attribution. Use said, not sighed, exclaimed, gasped, etc.
Put attribution at the end of the first complete sentence.
Set quotes off by themselves in paragraphs.
If consecutive paragraph's of quotes have different speakers, put the attribution at the front of the second/third/fourth speakers. Use Murray said: or Said Murray: Commas may be used instead of semicolons.
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