copy editing Tag

Copy Editor’s Corner | Who vs. Whom

If you want to strike up a spirited debate at your next happy hour, try correcting someone who uses who instead of whom. Some will ask, “Is whom ever right?” Yes, but it is used so rarely nowadays that few people understand when it is actually...

Copy Editor’s Corner | Which vs. That

Which word should you use in that sentence? According to Chicago Manual of Style and The AP Stylebook, that should be used in restrictive clauses and which in nonrestrictive clauses. A restrictive clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence, and a nonrestrictive clause --...

Copy Editor’s Corner | Assure – Insure – Ensure

>Rest assured you’re not the first person to be tripped up by insure, ensure, and assure. And for good reason -- there is a fair amount of leeway in the usage of these words. But while a dictionary may state that it’s okay to use insure in a context other than insurance, and assure to mean “guarantee,” many style guides have stricter guidelines. AP style, for instance, assigns one meaning to each word: “Use ensure to mean guarantee . . . insure for references to insurance . . . assure to mean to make sure or give confidence.” This approach simplifies the matter and makes the definitions easier to memorize. While you could defend your usage by pointing to Merriam-Webster, style guides often trump dictionaries.