Author Archives: thebettereditor

About thebettereditor

Chris holds a BA degree in history from the University of Virginia and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree in writing from the University of Southern Maine (Stonecoast). He has worked extensively with professional and semi-professional writers and enthusiastic amateurs for about 20 years. He has several years experience in scientific publishing, but has also worked in information technology, insurance, health care, and education (he taught writing at the university level for a number of years). Since 2011, he's also specialized in helping small business meet their writing and editing needs on a budget.

Blacklist vs Blackball

“I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.” – Groucho Marx Blacklist or blackball? Which term is correct in which context and why? I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot of … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Language, Things you should know, Words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coming, Going, and Out in Droves

What is a drove, and why do people come out in them? If you didn’t know any better, the way the word is used might lead you to think it’s a kind of conveyance (“They came out in droves. Have … Continue reading

Posted in Words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vocabulary: What is a bollard?

A quick post today from the vocabulary files. This one’s about something that most of us see many times every day, but don’t know the word for. In fact, most of us don’t know there’s even a word for it. … Continue reading

Posted in Language, Things you should know, Words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

i.e. and e.g.: You’re not writing in Latin, so why are you using them?

i.e. and e.g.: What are they? Why do we use them? What do they mean? And why don’t we just get rid of them?

Posted in Culture, Grammar, Language, Punctuation, Things you should know, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Has “Jumped the Shark” Jumped the Shark?

A specific (mis-)use of language smacked me upside the head (…figuratively…) recently and it deserves coverage here. Do you know the phrase “jumped the shark?” Many of us do. But someone apparently doesn’t, because he used it to mean something … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Language, Things you should know | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments