Oh, CBC – I told the world I loved you!

And then you do this:

However, the club said if the swelling and pain reduce within the week, it would allow Ohlund to continue playing in lieu of slight discomfort and he would then undergo surgery in the off-season.

Well, yes: playing in lieu of slight discomfort sound like a great idea, but somehow I don’t think that’s actually what they meant.

In lieu seems to be one of those expressions that gets abused on a regular basis. I’ve seen it used to mean “in light of.” Here it seems to mean “despite.”

But it’s really quite simple. Lieu mean “place” or “stead.” So in lieu = instead.

To “ed” or not to “ed”

The other day, a client asked me whether the expression “cast doubt” should be  “casted doubt” if used in the past tense.

 The answer is no, since cast is an irregular verb — the past tense is also “cast.”

But I did a quick Google search to see what’s happening to this expression online, and “casted doubt” comes up about 2,000 times.  Hmmm…

I did find one very useful document in the process of this diversion: a guide to tense  produced by the University of Ottawa.  It contains a nice list of irregular verbs.

Of course, that sent me off on a whole new diversion: looking for concrete and definitive proof that “boughten” is not a word — because I hate it.

That brought me to this very interesting post.

And at this point, I think I’d best get myself off of Google or I could be lost for days.

Even Microsoft is okay when they’re disagreeably facetious

I don’t like Microsoft.

But I am rather fond of their “Disagreeably Facetious Type Glossary.”

I particularly like this bit:

BOWLS are strokes that enclose a white space, like those that make the o and O. The two parts in the g are also bowls. Where a curve partially encloses a space it is also sometimes called a bowl, as in C. But it shouldn’t be. In a B you have two bowls. In the C you have a curved stroke and a COUNTER. The lower space in a Baskerville g is a counter. The upper is also.

The rest of this witty guide is definitely worth a read. Enjoy!

Dear “as per”: I hate you

I received an e-mail today that contained the following:

“please email me as per for immediate follow up”

This sentence, of course, has larger issues than the “as per.” But it made me think about this little expression, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I hate it.

I’ve searched through a number of dictionaries and usage guides, and there’s a surprising lack of consistency on whether the “as” is acceptable. To me, it’s ridiculous: “per” itself means “according to, “so “as per” means “as according to.” Redundant.

“I am sending this memo as per the CEO” = “I am sending this memo as according to the CEO.” Redundant!

This should be recast as “I am sending this message per the CEO.”

Of course, that’s assuming you are really stuck on using “per” at all. A better way would be to remove “per” altogether and write what you really mean: “The CEO has approved this memo.”

In my search for clarity on “as per,” I found the following gem from Erik Partridge’s Usage and Abusage:

as per, “in accordance with,” is such horrible commercialese that even merchant princes are less than riotously happy when their secretaries wish it on them

Indeed.

My favorite quote of 2008

The semicolon is correct, though I’d have used a colon, which I think would be a bit more sophisticated in that sentence.

This is what Allan M. Siegal, former standards editor at The New York Times had to say about a New York subway sign that drew attention for its use of the ever-confusing semicolon.

The sign (instructing riders not to leave their newspapers littering the subway) read:

“Please put it in a trash can; that’s good news for everyone.”

I love that I’m not the only one in this big world that gets so excited about a simple piece of punctuation.

Time to start a blog…

Here’s the traditional “my first post” post. As I get used to this blogging thing, the content will get more exciting, I promise.

For now, I’ll just recommend my favorite site for copy editors: The Slot, created by Bill Walsh (author of such excellent reads as Lapsing Into a Comma and The Elephants of Style ). It’s brilliant, hilarious, and — if you’re a word geek like me — sometimes controversial. Enjoy!

A freelance travel & lifestyle writer/editor in Vancouver, BC.