Cache for cachet, an apostrophe without an S to form a possessive and other issues from the week in editing


A week in the life of a copy editor wouldn’t make for a good movie — a lot of sitting, staring and tapping at the comma key on a computer. But for language nerds and people who’d like to improve their grammar skills, an ultra-condensed week in the life of a copy editor could make for an entertaining way to spend five minutes. So here are a few of the more interesting language issues this copy editor came across last week.

“Living at this address carries a certain cache.” Sentences like this justify my paycheck. As a copy editor, I specialize in knowing about commonly confused words like “cache” and “cachet.” For whatever reason, it seems very few non-editors know that “cache” is pronounced “cash” and if you want the two-syllable word that means prestige, it gets a T on the end.

“Yesterday, Popov’ mother drove her to the store.” Possessives can be hard. Possessives of words that end in S are harder. But possessives of words that end in Ch, X or Z shouldn’t be. And that goes double for words that end in V. There are no special rules for forming possessives of words that in end in one of these letters. Just add an apostrophe and an S: Popov’s mother, just like Smith’s mother or Lurch’s mother or Chavez’s mother.

I also encountered:


Where Everyday Is the Weekend

Under the auspice of the charitable foundation

Thank you to whomever sent me these beautiful flowers

You can read about how I handled them all in my recent column here.


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