Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday Fix: It's Christmas!

What on earth are you doing reading Friday Fix today? It's Christmas! The only fixin' you should be concered with today are the turkey fixins and whether or not to have a third helping.

Get off the computer and go spend time with your family celebrating Christ, eating, opening presents, eating, gabbing, and eating some more. (Even I'm not on the computer because I set this for automatic post on Wednesday, thank you very much.) Play with your gifts and if you didn't get any that can be played with, elbow your way into the pack of kids and help them play with theirs. Fellowship. Goodwill. Kay?


But be sure to come back next week because New Year's Day is ALL about fixing things for the new year. Right? And in the spirit of giving, I'm taking topic requests! Leave a comment if you'd like me to address anything specific.

Merriest of Christmases to all!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Fix: Definitely

To spare you a long read during this busy season, I'll keep today's fix brief:

"Definately" is hereby banned, punishable by torture of constant Christmas music from the Chipmunks! Don't spell it that way.

It's definitely spelled d-e-f-i-n-I-t-e-l-y. Kay? Definitely.

(Hey, why did I just suddenly think of Rainman?)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Fix: Use Regardless

I had planned to simply post the following:

Irregardless is not a word, regardless of what you hear. Don't use it.

Short, sweet, and to the point, right? But then I began to worry that "irregardless" has been misused so frequently that maybe it's now considered okay. (You know, like girls calling their friends "wifey"--if enough people do it, everyone thinks it's alright. I know I'm gettin' old, but there's just something not right about that.)

So you know me. I checked. And what I found is that most sources that acknowledge "irregardless" as a word (and there are many that do not) provide a caveat something to the tune of "improper usage" or "use regardless instead." Hooray!

And I also found out why. Wrap your mind around this brilliant reasoning: "Since the prefix ir- means 'not' (as it does with irrespective), and the suffix -less means 'without,' irregardless is a double negative" (Wikipedia). And everyone knows two negatives make a positive, which means that when people say "irregardless" they are actually saying the opposite of what they mean. Tee hee. I LOVE that.

So, irregardless of what you've heard (c'mon, you know I HAD to do that) use "regardless". It's the single negative choice of experts everywhere. (Thumbs up and big cheesy grin.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Fix: Ellipses

One of my friends and writing buddies (Hi Marsh!) suggested today's topic: ellipses. You know, those three little dots that are used to show that you . . . words. Hmm . . .why do I feel like I left something out?

Alas, I am no expert on today's topic. In fact, I suspect that I'm one of those who overuse it as illustrated after the "Hmm" in the above sentence. In addition to using ellipses for their original purpose (to show where words in a quote are omitted), I also use them to indicate pauses and a continuation of thinking, especially in informal writing. A lot.

So I decided to do a little digging and here's where I dug:

And if for whatever reason you choose not to soil your shovel there, I'll just share a few gold nuggets I unearthed:

1. It's acceptable in informal writing to use ellipses to show pausing and a continuation of thought! Woo Hoo! ('Scuse me while I cabbage patch a bit). BUT, (what is it with big BUTS?) don't over-do it. Apparently, it grates on some readers' nerves when ellipses are used excessively. You know, everything in moderation, blah, blah, blah.

2. You're actually supposed to put a space between the dots! I did NOT know that! And I've been doing it wrong all these years. (*Note, if you're a former student of mine, you're either loving that and doing your own cabbage patch dance OR you're considering seeking reimbursement for your education. Ahem...sorry! I mean, Ahem . . . sorry!)

3. If you're writing formally, you should just check the preferred style manual of your boss, teacher, publisher, or whomever is making you write. Know if it's MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian, or the current manual de jour.

If you're a hard-core addict like myself, you really might want to go back (seriously!) and check out the article because it contains more interesting points. If not . . . well, be sure to dot your i's and eye your dots! ;-)