Would You Like Fries With That?

According to our friend CMOS, 16th edition, section 8.60: “Personal, national, or geographical names, and words derived from such names, are often lowercased when used with a nonliteral meaning.” Basically, this means that even though you think certain words should be capitalized, when they are being used in a nonliteral sense, they are lowercased. Here’s an example: […]

When to Capitalize Popular Names of Places

Today’s grammar tip is brought to you by CMOS 8.47. One thing I’ve noticed recently is that people like to capitalize words. I don’t know if this is a new thing, but it’s definitely a thing. Depending on whom you talk to, capitalization isn’t a make-or-break issue. JK Rowling, for example, capitalizes many words that […]

Find and Destroy: My Secret Trick to Eliminating Word Overuse

[source] Today I want to share with you my favorite editing tip for eliminating word overuse! I wrote about the topic of word overuse previously in my post on spot treatment: removing word repetition, and I’m not the only person to write a post on this issue, but what I haven’t talked about yet is […]

More about the Em Dash!

[source] Remember when I talked about using em dash vs. ellipses with dialogue? Here’s another quick em dash tip regarding surrounding punctuation, which can be found in CMOS 6.87. A question mark or exclamation point can precede an em dash. A comma, colon, and semicolon cannot. Example (from CMOS): Only if—heaven forbid!—you lose your passport should […]