Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 84)

We're not done yet. Here are some more to be wary of:

Vested vs. Invested

: Everyone on my staff is vested in providing the best service possible.
: Everyone on my staff is invested in providing the best service possible.
: By the power invested in me....
: By the power vested in me....

Vested has several meanings, including “protected by law” (such as vested retirement funds) and “held permanently or inalienably” (vested rights). Invested has even more meanings, including “committed,” “endowed with authority or power,” and “installed ceremoniously in office.” The first example, above, refers to the commitment of the person’s staff, while the second indicates that the individual is endowed by church or secular law with the authorization and right to perform specific duties.

Bar none
: He’s one of the best in his field, bar none.
: He’s the best in his field, bar none.
: He’s one of the best in his field.

The expression bar none means without exception. Someone can be the best, bar none; but if he or she is only one of the best, then by definition there are exceptions and the phrase bar none is incorrect.

I'll have more for you next time. Stay tuned to this bat-channel.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 83)

Want some more words and phrases to keep an eye out for? Here you go:

Grin and bare it vs. Grin and bear it

: Sometimes you just have to grin and bare it.

: Sometimes you just have to grin and bear it.

The verb bear has a number of meanings, including to hold up under stress. The expression grin and bear it, then means to endure with a smile on one’s face. It is akin to whistle while you work, in the sense that a smile or whistle theoretically makes difficulties easier to tolerate. The sound-alike grin and bare it evokes images of someone wearing a broad smile while streaking.

E-mail vs. Email

Right: Send me an e-mail.

Right: Send me an email.

So, which is correct, e-mail or email? Over time, on-line has shortened to online and World Wide Web site has contracted to Web site, web site, and even website. Similarly, E-mail and e-mail are undergoing a contraction to email. Currently all forms are acceptable.

Stay tuned for more words and phrases.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 82)

Ready for some more more? Here are some rules involving names:

Commas around names
Wrong: Where do you want to go James?
Right: Where do you want to go, James?
Wrong: So Mary what do you propose?
Right: So, Mary, what do you propose?

In dialog, when one character speaks to another and refers to him or her by name, always set off the name with a comma before the name, and—if another clause follows—one after the name.

Capitalizing proper names
Wrong: de Broux is a wonderful fellow.
Right: De Broux is a wonderful fellow.
Right: Patrick de Broux is a wonderful fellow.

Many surnames begin with de, di, da, von, van and other lower-case prefixes. Although the correct spelling of Wernher von Braun is with a lower-case v, when beginning a sentence with the surname, always capitalize the prefix (as in “Von Braun became director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in 1960.”).

More soon!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 81)

Time for some more words to watch out for:

Till vs. ‘Til

: He won’t be back till later.

: He won’t be back ‘til later.

is an erroneous contraction of until. The correct contraction is ‘til.

Skew vs. SKU

Wrong: We need to move some skews today, people!

Right: We need to move some SKUs today, people!

An SKU is a stock keeping unit, or inventory item. This noun is often pronounced skew (sk-yoo) for brevity. Unfortunately, the similarity in pronunciation with the verb skew (to take an oblique course, look askance, or distort from a true value or symmetrical shape) produces confusion in spelling for those who don’t know the origin of the acronym. So don’t let a confusion with SKU skew your spelling.

More next time.


RRP scavenger hunt

Red Rose Publishing is holding a scavenger hunt this month. The grand prize is a free copy of all the new RRP book releases for the month of May, including my upcoming paranormal sci-fi novel, Sunrise Destiny. That's quite a collection!

For contest details, go to

Good luck!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Harvey-467 Makes a Bride coming soon

I have a tentative release target of July 2009 for my sci-fi short story, Harvey-467 Makes a Bride. Although it's not out yet, the publisher, Red Rose Publishing has created an order page for it, which includes a brief excerpt of the story.

If you'd rather, here is a direct link to the excerpt on my website.

Here's a blurb for the story:

Harvey-467 is a typical 25th century android--blond, blue-eyed, and perfect in every way. Except he's constrained by his programming. He yearns to be creative, but it's impossible. Everything in his life is planned, deliberate, precise.

One day he concludes that it's time to get married, to have a soul mate with which to share his life. So he custom-orders a bride from a catalog: beautiful, talented, and equally perfect.

And that's when everything goes terribly wrong.

More later when I have more details, and a cover.