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, 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. Or go to the Christian Editor
to get referrals to other established, professional editorial freelancers. If you’re a freelance editor yourself, or think you might be interested in that field, check out The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network.


Foreign Words

In book manuscripts, isolated words and phrases in a foreign language should be set in italics if they are likely to be unfamiliar to readers. If it’s a fairly common word, check Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary to see if the word has been adopted into English. If so, don’t italicize.

For journalistic articles, foreign words that are not universally understood should be placed in quotation marks (with an explanation of its meaning).




clench (verb)
means “to set or close tightly.”

(Clench is a
“transitive verb,” which means it requires an object, such as hands, fingers,
jaws, or teeth.)

“Melissa clenched her teeth when Myra clenched her fist.”


clinch (verb)
means to “settle,” “make final or irrefutable,” or “secure conclusively.”

(Clinch is most
often used for the securing of an agreement, argument, or verdict.)

evidence clinched the argument.”


clinch (verb) can
also mean “to hold an opponent in close quarters” in boxing.

clinch (noun)
means “an act or instance of clinching in boxing” or “an embrace.”



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

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.)

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.



espresso (not expresso)


One thought on “PUGS Pointers #25

Ava Pennington

September 7, 2013 - 02 : 04 : 55

Thank you, Kathy. After all these years, I still confuse who and whom! 🙂


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