Monday, July 6, 2009

PUGS Pointers by Kathy Ide

It's Manuscript Monday! Kathy Ide is the founder and coordinator of The Christian PEN (Proofreaders and Editors Network). She's here to share her expertise in editing. So, in the spirit of helping us with craft, we welcome Kathy to help us with punctuation, usage, grammar and spelling--PUGS.



Literary agent Richard Curtis wrote (in The Christian Communicator, June 2001):

It was not long ago that the prevailing attitude among editors was, “This book has some problems, but the author is so talented that I’d like to buy it and work with him.” Today such words are rarely heard. A book with problems is a book rejected.

Editors receive so many manuscripts from so many authors every day, they can afford to reject them for the most minuscule reasons. Don’t let PUGS errors cause your manuscript to be rejected!


Capitalization of Family Relationships

“Kinship names” (father, brother, etc.) are lowercased when used generically (“the youngest mother in the group,” for example) or when preceded by a modifier (“my dad,” “your mom,” “our brother,” etc.).

When used before a proper name, or alone in place of the name, kinship names are capitalized. Examples:

“I know that Mother’s middle name is Janice.”

“Will Aunt Becky be singing?”

“Will her uncle Ed be at the book signing?”

“Hey, Dad, are we going fishing today?”

(See The Chicago Manual of Style, rule #8.39 and The Associated Press Stylebook, pages 91–92.)


any more/anymore

any more (adjective) means “any additional.”

“I don’t want to hear any more backtalk from you!” hollered Cindy.

anymore (adverb) means “any longer.”

“I don’t want to listen to you anymore,” cried Linda.

NOTE: Adjectives modify nouns. Adverbs modify adjectives, adverbs, or verbs.


each other vs. one another

Use each other when referring to two.

“Angie and Gwen discussed the book with each other.

Use one another when referring to more than two.

“The critique group members discussed their manuscripts with one another.


good-bye (with a hyphen) if you’re writing books (or short stories that will be included in books).

goodbye (without a hyphen) if you’re writing articles (for newspapers, journalistic magazines, or most newsletters).

Kathy Ide has been a published author/coauthor/ghostwriter of books, articles, play and movie scripts, short stories, devotionals, and curriculum since 1988. She is a full-time freelance editor/proofreader for aspiring writers, established authors, commercial book publishers, subsidy publishers, and magazines. She also speaks at writers’ conferences across the country. She is the founder and coordinator of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network and the Christian Editor Network. To find out more about Kathy, visit her Web site.

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