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Tips for the copydesk (and others) No. 77Tips for the copydesk (and others) No. 77

Posted by bbeene85 on May 16, 2010

LIFTOFF is the noun and adjective; the verb is LIFT OFF. Wrong here: “Astros finally have lift off.” (April 25)

LED is the past tense of LEAD. Wrong here: “…an organization she lead.” (May 5)

SUBJECT AND VERB: Parenthetical expressions beginning with words like “along with … as well as” do not affect the number of the subject. Bad example: “Her SEAT, along with those of others on the 12-member board, ARE up for re-election. Her seat IS up.

COMMAS are not used before essential phrases. The comma after drivers is wrong here: “They also are imposing stiffer fines against drivers, who get behind the wheel after imbibing.” (May 2)

WHO’S is the contraction of WHO IS. Don’t confuse with the possessive pronoun WHOSE. Wrong here: “…think about those who’s homeland was actually stolen.” (May 8)

AVERSE means opposed or “strongly disinclined” and was the word needed here: “We’re not ADVERSE to letting the NFL know….” ADVERSE means harmful or unfavorable. (AP, May 7)

EMINENTLY means “of high rank or quality, noteworthy” and was the word needed here: “Meantime, it would seem IMMINENTLY rational to presume in our public affairs that….” IMMINENTLY means “about to occur.” (Kathleen Parker column, May 11)

LIGHTNING accompanies thunder, not LIGHTENING. Wrong here: “…the lightening across the sky, the sound of thunder….” (May 12)

MAGIC? The story said a man “turned himself into the DeSoto Detention Center.” Actually, he turned himself in to the center (or to authorities there). When someone surrenders, in to is two words. (May 13)

Laz 5.14.10


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