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.


The abbreviations Jr. and Sr., as well as roman or Arabic numerals such as II or 3rd, after a person’s name are part of the name and should not be separated with a comma. Examples:
James Jefferson Sr.
Dexter Harrison III



callous (adjective) means “having calluses” or “feeling no emotion or sympathy.” Examples:
“The suspect’s callous hands revealed an occupation involving physical labor.”
“The reporter was a cold, callous man.”

callous (verb) means “to make callous.”
“A childhood of abuse had calloused her to the needs of others.”

callus (noun) means “a hard, thickened area on skin or bark.”
“The calluses on his hands reminded Shannon of a farmer she once dated.”

callus (verb) means “to cause calluses to form.”
“The physical labor callused his fingertips and palms.”

NOTE: mucous/mucus follows the same rule.


The pronouns who and whom can be confusing. But there are some tricks you can use to determine which to use when.

1. whom is always preceded by a preposition because the action has to happen to, with, or for the person being referred to.
“The man to whom you wrote the check no longer works at this company.”
“The bowlers with whom I play won every tournament last season.”
“The audience for whom the book was written is teenage girls.”

2. Try substituting a he/she or him/her pronoun. If he/she fits, use who. If him/her fits, use whom.
“Diana, who rented the room, left the window open.” (She rented the room.)
“Diana, to whom the room was rented, left the window open.” (It was rented to her.)


Whenever two spellings are given in the dictionary, the first one listed is the preferred spelling.

One thought on “PUGS Pointers #15


October 8, 2012 - 21 : 40 : 22

Hi Kathy – I’m very appreciative of the PUGS you taught me. I’m still using them when I write or edit for others.


Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published.