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Hi! I’m Kathy Ide, and 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, as well as a reason it’s important for authors to “polish their PUGS.” (For more PUGS tips, check out my website, http://www.kathyide.com/, or get a copy of my book “Polishing the PUGS” (available through the website or at the conferences I teach at). If you’re interested in working with a freelance editor (or know someone who is), e-mail me at Kathy@KathyIde.com. Or go to http://www.christianeditor.com/ 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 http://www.thechristianpen.com/.

WHY POLISH YOUR PUGS?

PUGS errors can cause confusion.

My older son, Tom, is a very busy professional, so a lot of our communication takes place via e-mail. One Sunday, I asked him what he wanted me to make for dinner that evening. His response was:

When you decide what you can say I decided this and if it’s not OK that’s OK.

It took me a while to decipher that. And when I asked my son for permission to quote it, his response was, “Did I write that? What on earth does it mean?” Even he didn’t know! Well, after reading that line several times, I came up with this:

When you decide what, you can say, “I decided this,” and if it’s not OK, that’s OK.

Pretty confusing without the punctuation, is it?

 

PUNCTUATION TIP:

Spacing Between Sentences

In material that will be typeset (books or articles), one space, not two, follows a period (or any other punctuation mark) at the end of a sentence.

 

USAGE TIP:

back door/backdoor

    back door (noun)

“Randy pounded on Jim’s back door.”

     backdoor (adjective) means “indirect” or “devious”

          “She suspected the men were involved in some kind of backdoor operation.”

 

GRAMMAR TIP:

fewer vs. less

    Fewer refers to quantities/numbers.

“If you proofread your work carefully, you will get fewer rejections.”

    Less refers to amounts.

“First drafts require less work than rewrites.”

 

SPELLING TIP:

harebrained (not hairbrained)

 

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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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