Monthly Archives: March 2013

Amidst, Amongst, Whilst: Please Resist Usingst Themst!

On my mind this week are a trio of words which sometimes catch my attention (rarely in positive ways): amidst, amongst, and whilst. Most sources note (with various amounts of further explanation) that these words are flowery variants of their … Continue reading

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Style Guides Say the Darnedest Things

Apropos of nothing, I recently discovered that this advice is offered when dealing with the demonic and nefarious: devil But capitalize Satan. (The Associated Press Stylebook, 2011.) I’m glad someone is thinking about these things!

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If you’re insensitive, you’re “callous.” But that thing on your foot is a “callus.”

I don’t normally spend too much time highlighting funny typos — there are entire websites devoted to that kind of thing. I keep up with some of them — it’s a career necessity. But while they can sometimes be very … Continue reading

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Of Conclaves, Enclaves, Autoclaves, and Clavicles (with a bonus note on capitalization!)

The media just can’t get enough of the word “conclave” this week. With one pope off into retirement there’s a top-level job opening. In the Catholic church the executive search committee consists of all the cardinals under the age of … Continue reading

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