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Hi! I'm Kathy Ide. In addition to being a published author, I'm a full-time professional freelance editor. For CAN, I'm blogging about "PUGS"–Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling…tips for writers based on the most common mistakes I see in the manuscripts I edit. Each blog post will have one tip for each of the four categories. (For more PUGS tips, check out my website, www.KathyIde.com, or get a copy of my book Polishing the PUGS (available through the website or at the conferences where I teach). If you're interested in working with a freelance editor (or know someone who is), e-mail me through the contact page of my website, www.KathyIde.com. Or go to www.ChristianEditor.com to get referrals to other established, professional editorial freelancers. Or go to www.christianmanuscriptcritique.com if you'd like an overall critique. If you're a freelance editor yourself, or think you might be interested in that field, check out www.TheChristianPEN.com.

PUNCTUATION TIP

Capitalization of Religious Terms

For a comprehensive list of what religious terms should be capitalized, see The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style. For example, while Bible and Scripture (nouns) are capitalized, biblical and scriptural (adjectives) are not. Similarly, you would capitalize “the Almighty” (noun) but not “almighty God” (adjective).

Note: For journalistic-style articles, check The Associated Press Stylebook’s list of religious terms.

USAGE TIP

all together/altogether

all together means “in a group,” as in “Let’s sing this all together now.”

altogether (adverb) means “wholly, completely,” as in “The Lord is altogether holy.”

GRAMMAR TIP

Generations of English teachers have taught students certain rules that are either personal preferences or rules that have changed over time. For example:

Never end a sentence with a preposition. (See CMS 5.169.)

A preposition is a word that combines with a noun phrase to form a modifying phrase. Most prepositions refer to time, space, or position. Examples: 

across the country         after the movie        at the store               in the room        with ketchup

Many students are taught that prepositions should never come at the end of a sentence. However, the “proper” ordering of prepositions can sometimes result in sentences that sound awkward, stilted, or pompous.

As a general rule, try to avoid ending sentences with prepositions. But if that’s the only way to avoid sounding awkward, then by all means, break the rule. Sometimes a preposition is the best word to end a sentence with.

SPELLING TIP

deathbed (one word, not two)

 

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About Kathy Ide

Kathy Ide, author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, has written books, articles, short stories, devotionals, play scripts, and Sunday school curriculum. She has ghostwritten ten nonfiction books and a five-book novel series. Kathy is a full-time freelance editor/proofreader/mentor for new writers, established authors, and book publishers. She speaks at writers’ conferences across the country. Kathy is the founder and director of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network (www.TheChristianPEN.com) and the Christian Editor Connection (www.ChristianEditor.com). For more about Kathy, visit www.KathyIde.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.

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