March 23, 2015

Adverbs vs. Adverbials

Adverbs aren't the only things that can work as adverbs. Prepositional phrases and even nouns can be "adverbials."

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Spacing After Terminal Punctuation
Posted by June on March 23, 2015
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Did you know that you're never supposed to double-space between sentences? Most people don't. Almost daily, I see writers putting two spaces after every period -- half of which an editor will have to delete.

Why do people do this? Because once upon a time, long before anyone ever heard the term "word processing," it was correct to double space between sentences. It was logical, too. Back then, typewriters typed in what was called "monospace." The same amount of space was allotted for each character.  A capital W got as much room as a tiny little period. Picture that and you can see how much it would help to double space. With just a single space after it, a period looked almost as though it were floating between words. So it just made more sense to always put a double space after any terminal punctuation mark, including question marks and exclamation points.

But that was a long time ago. In the interim, word processing programs starting spacing letters in a more visually appealing way. Eventually, book publishers, periodicals, editing styles and even academic writing rules have came to the nearly unanimous conclusion that there should be just one space after each sentence.

If you've developed the bad habit of double spacing between sentences -- or if you worry you might have -- don't forget how helpful search and replace functions can be. In Microsoft Word, for example, you can just type period-space-space into the "search" field and "period-space" into the replace field and the computer will find and clean up every one at once, or let you approve each change individually.

 

June Casagrande is a writer and journalist whose weekly grammar/humor column, “A Word, Please,” appears in community newspapers in California, Florida, and Texas. more

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  • A Reminder About "John and I" vs. "John and Me"

    June Laura: The choice between "I" and "me" depends on the sentence structure, and your example isn't a sentence. It's just some nouns. So either "Marsha, John, and I" or "Marsha, John, and Me" could be correct. It's when a verb is present -- or even implied -- that the rules kick in. If the photo caption is an implied way of saying, "Marsha, John, and I visited the Eiffel Tower," then you need a subject for the verb "visited." And because "I" is the subject form, it would be correct in this context. In "The Eiffel Tower dwarfs Marsha, John, and me," the object pronoun "me" is correct because it's the object of the verb. But there's a twist here: A truncated photo caption like this might be understood to mean "HERE ARE Marsha, John, and I/me," and that structure is a weird one. Think about "Here we are" then flip it into "Here are we." That's kind of what a photo caption might mean. And note that, while this works with "we" (a subject), it doesn't work with "us" (an object). Here we are. not here us are. So subject pronouns like "we" and "I" make more grammatical sense here. However, to follow this rule to the letter would be a bit like saying, "Laura is taller than I" in casual conversation. Grammatical, sure. Natural, not really. So grammatically, if the caption is a truncated way of saying "Here are Marsha, John, and I/me," you can choose either. "I" would make a bit more syntactical sense, but "me" would probably be more natural. And that's the form I'd use in almost every casual situation: Marsha, John, and Me.

  • A Reminder About "John and I" vs. "John and Me"

    laura Which is correct in a situation such as a caption to a photo labeled "Marsha, John, and I"? It looks odd to me, and I think "I" should perhaps be "me," but I can't find any proof. If I turn it into a sentence it should be me?[This photo shows] Marsha, John, and me. What do you think?

  • What to Capitalize in a Headline

    June Jim: That was my summary of how I see it done and some in-house policies I've known about. I don't see it cited in the AP guide, either.

  • 'Born Of' or 'Borne Of'

    Ken That's why copy editors would do well to actually read classic literature and not limit their efforts to "two passes of a text". What you speak of is a palpable distinction familiar to anyone who is not a stranger to the great works of literature. Unfortunately, this has become a minority group, as the bite-sized culture takes firm hold.

  • 'Born Of' or 'Borne Of'

    burp Your test relies on the correctness of Helen Reddy's spelling. I found 373M hits on Google for "man born of woman", and only 25M hits for "man borne of woman", but one of those 25M hits is Job 14:1 (1611 King James Bible): "Man that is borne of a woman, is of few dayes, and full of trouble."