The Constant Grammarian, Part 1: Seven Words and Phrases You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know
As the old saying goes, you can take the girl out of copy editing, but you can’t stop her from judging you for spelling it “judgement.” This brand-new Canary blog series explores common errors and quick lessons I’ve gathered from years of experience as a former copy editor who made a living correcting other people’s mistakes. Don’t let these things happen to you!
Today’s topic: commonly misused words and phrases. Below you’ll find seven of the less-than-usual suspects — words you might need in order to communicate your message to the media (and, incidentally, words media folks will judge you for if you get ’em wrong).
1. ENORMITY. Defined as “the great or extreme scale, seriousness, or extent of something perceived as bad or morally wrong,” this word gets confused with its wrong-sounding sister “enormousness.” The new Barnes Foundation may be big, but don’t sit there wondering at its enormity.
2. FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES. In every practical sense, this expression — commonly written incorrectly as “for all intensive purposes” — is unnecessary. But don’t be unnecessary and wrong.
3. COMPLEMENT. The press can pay you a great compliment by running a positive review of your play after its run, but it sure would’ve been nice if they’d complemented it with a preview. See what I did there?
4. UNIQUE. Because this word is synonymous with “one-of-a-kind,” it cannot be modified. Your performance is not incredibly unique, nor is it somewhat unique (we hope).
5. JUST AS SOON. This expression, which could be replaced with “rather” or “more readily,” means you’d be just as eager to do one thing as another. The common misuse, “just assume,” doesn’t quite make sense. Besides, everyone knows what happens when you assume.
6. DISINTERESTED. If you’re a good journalist, you’re disinterested in the organization you’re pursuing for a story — which means you’re unbiased, not that you don’t care. If you don’t care, you’re uninterested (and possibly a bad journalist).
7. ANTISOCIAL. If you’re a wallflower at parties, you’re unsocial. If you’re a conscienceless, law-breaking society-shunner, you’re antisocial. You’d be surprised how many shy folks claim to be sociopaths.
What misused words drive you crazy? Add your comments here, or shoot me an email at carolyn [at] canarypromo [dot] com. And stay tuned in August for the next installment of The Constant Grammarian: the Spelling Bee edition.
Tags in Tags
- Philly arts and culture reporters share tips on how to get great press coverage
- Blog post: Outside(r) Art
- Philly arts organizations take on social media fads: A short history
- Entrepreneurship and Risk-Taking in Arts Organizations
- A Look Ahead This Month
- Philly's Top Broadcasters Weigh In: What Makes the Evening News?
- Top 10 Philadelphia Arts and Culture Orgs on Pinterest
- Be a Belieber in marketing your arts organization to teenagers
- Top Arts Marketing Resources for 2014
- The Constant Grammarian: Three Grammar Resolutions You'll Want to Keep in 2014
- 2014: The Year Ahead
- ICYMI: Getting meta on social media, and other November reading
- Making Spirits Bright: Canary’s Holiday Favorites
- Canary Promotion Wins Two Awards from the PRSA!
- ICYMI: What would you do if you were banned from Twitter?
- Messaging in a Bottle: How to Tell a Compelling “Story of Us”
- The Hot Topic of Crowdfunding for Conservation
- ICYMI: Where we've been this fall, and where we're going
- Canary Guest Blogs for Americans for the Arts: A Holistic Approach to Communications
- PR in the Age of Shortening: Should we join ’em if we can’t beat ’em?
- Megan Wendell on Keystone Edge: Growth, inspiration and putting the arts first
- Canary in Harrisburg for the Launch of Pennsylvania’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts
- Canary News: Fall Arts Bounty, Winning at the Geek Awards, Social Media Tips
- Playing Favorites: Where to find the Canary staff at the 2013 Fringe Festival
- Weekend Wrap Up: Great Press for Mauckingbird and Puppet Festival (r)Evolution
- More Than Words: Bringing Audiences Into the Moment with Instagram
- ICYMI: What We're Reading This Summer
- 6 Ways Twitter Can Help Sell Tickets (Part 2)
- 6 Ways Twitter Can Help Sell Tickets (Part 1)
- Adventures in Pittsburgh: How cultural storytelling can invigorate a city
- ICYMI: What Caught Our Attention in May
- The Constant Grammarian, Part 3: Thou Art Banished
- Spring 2013 Newsletter: What Kind of Leader Are You?
- Crowdsourcing: How Honesty Moves Us Forward
- So You’ve Hired a Communications Team – Now What?
- ICYMI: What Caught Our Attention in April
- Third Time’s the Charm: Congratulations to the 43 winners of the 2013 Knight Arts Challenge!
- Five Signs It’s Time to Hire a Communications Firm
- Stop Wasting Money: How to Stretch Your Facebook Ad Dollars
- ICYMI: What Caught Our Attention in March
- Take readers behind the scenes — even while you're setting the stage: A content marketing strategy for arts organizations
- Faces of PRSA Philly: The Canary edition
- Connecting Organically: How PR drives SEO results
- The Future of Cultural Journalism: Inspiration, Innovation and Proactivity
- What’s the future of cultural journalism? How can art connect communities?
- Canary Goes Global: World-class culture in the City of Brotherly Love
- Cultural Moments of 2012: Megan's Picks
- Cultural Moments of 2012: Rose's Picks
- Cultural Moments of 2012: Carolyn's Picks
- A Better Barrymore? Theatre Philadelphia: A Celebration! gave the arts community a much-needed boost at just the right moment.
- Internship Alert: Canary Promotion is hiring PR/Marketing interns this fall!
- Philly 101 Wrap Party @ Frankford Hall: What You Wish You Knew, Now You Know
- The Constant Grammarian, Part 1: Seven Words and Phrases You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know
- Canary Promotion Newsletter: Summer 2012
- Insight into Insights: Reach Your Goals With the Right Facebook Campaign
- Insight into Insights: Reach Your Goals With the Right Facebook Campaign
- Congratulations to the 2012 Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia winners!
- Rediscover Public Art with Fairmount Park Art Association
- 5 Things You Can Do For Your Small Business Right Now
- Canary Promotion Welcomes Carolyn Huckabay of Philadelphia City Paper as Public Relations Associate
- 10 years, a bounty of art, and a job that still thrills me
- Young Voices Were On the Minds of TEDxPhilly Speakers
- Festivals, Public Art, Drama & Dracula: What We're Working On This Season
- Plenty to see this weekend as DesignPhiladelphia winds down. Stop by Not A Vacant Lot!
- 6 Tips for Getting Press-Perfect Photos
- Knight Foundation and NEA Seek New Models for Arts Journalism
- Live Arts Festival Tickets On Sale Now!
- With Facebook Ads, It's All About the Timing.
- We're hiring: PR & Marketing Coordinator position available
- The Value of Intangible Goods. How Donating Your Knowledge Makes a Difference.
- The Cultural Engagement Index, Why Audience Participation Matters
- Congratulations to all of the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia 2011 Winners!
- A mural party at the Rosenbach, a frank conversation with Maurice Sendak & the musically inspired “Grace Notes”
- Canary Promotion Newsletter: Spring 2011
- Spring is in the air! The Canary office gets spruced up for Spring.
- Our PIFA Picks: A Cultural Playground in April
- 6 Essentials for Successfully Working with the Media
- Woodmere Art Museum Opens Five New Exhibitions
- Spring Break at Live Arts Brewery - A Laboratory for Research and Development
- Connecting With Your Community Through Facebook Ads
- Ars Nova Workshop presents Fieldwork, “A jazz power trio for the new century” (NPR)
- Put A Bird On It!
- Final Days to See John Folinsbee and American Modernism at the Woodmere
- 7 Ways to Improve Your PR Writing
- Sometimes these Canaries need their creative-beauty sleep
- Young Voices High School Monologue Festival On Stage at The Adrienne Theater This Week
- The Associated Press, NPR, Philadelphia Inquirer & New York Times are all talking about the Rosenbach's Sendak Mural
- John Folinsbee and American Modernism Lecture Series at Woodmere Art Museum
- Our Favorite Cultural Moments of 2010: Megans' Picks
- Our Favorite Cultural Moments of 2010: TEDxPhilly
- Our favorite cultural moments of 2010: Flash Opera, The Return of the Cultural Flash Mob to Philadelphia
- Our 2010 Year in Review
- We're taking a holiday break!
- Rescue Your Blog with an Editorial Calendar
- Philadelphia’s got talent, United States Artists Knight Fellows announced
- Holiday Shop at Woodmere Art Museum
- Ladies Rock Camp - the perfect gift for the ladies in your life
- Museum Without Walls: AUDIO the subject of national Associated Press story
- Chester County Historical Society Launches Social Media Campaign
- The Rosenbach Museum & Library announced today news of stunning new portraiture acquisitions
- Woodmere Art Museum Upcoming Community Events
- Theater showcase by & for youth in Philadelphia touches on big issues at the right time
- TEDxPhilly, November 18, 2010 at the Kimmel Center.
- Canary clients have "Big Vision" says City Paper - We Agree!
- Spooky. Canary's tips for Halloween-themed events in Philly
- Coming Up: opportunities to get your Knight Arts Challenge questions answered
- Mayor Nutter, Arts Community Celebrate Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia Launch
- Coming Oct. 5: Knight Foundation brings new support to the arts in Philadelphia
- Have you heard? The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe is taking over!
- Two thumbs up for Mauckingbird's revamped queer "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
- How creative PR & marketing work together to draw in new audiences
- Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO wins Philadelphia Magazine BEST of PHILLY 2010 Award!
- The Rosenbach's new 'Dreadful Things Happen' exhibition reviewed in today's Inquirer
- Philadelphia Weekly “Picks for Best Theater This Year” Includes Five Canary Client Mentions!
- Canary News: Announcing some changes & new opportunities
- We're Looking for PR/Marketing Interns for the Fall!
- Fringe Fest Sideshow: Opportunity for Philly Fringe Artists & Fans
- Today, Celebrate Bloomsday with the Rosenbach Museum & Library at Trinity Center for Urban Life
- Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO Program Officially Launches at LOVE Park
- Thursday, June 10th, Fairmount Park Art Association launches the groundbreaking Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO program in LOVE Park!
- The Wilma Theater's U.S. Premiere of "Leaving" Opens TONIGHT!
- Drupaldelphia Wrap-Up
- Canary client Swim Pony Performing Arts will host Philadelphia's next large-scale improv event!
- The 2010 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival + Philly Fringe Line-up is Announced!
- Google Chrome - Search Any Site from the Address Bar
- The New York Times reviews Philagrafika 2010, a Canary PR client!
- displaying location fields in a view
- Happy 200th Birthday, Edgar!: Brat Productions Celebrates with One-of-a-kind Theatrical Haunted House
- safari clips div when using anchor tags
- Philadelphia: Where the Wild Things Are + Sendak Mania at the Rosenbach
- string parsing code to get url from image tag
- Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe Opens Today!
- Pig Iron Theatre Company's Welcome to Yuba City
- We're hiring! FT Publicity & Marketing Assistant
- Replace Taxonomy pages w/ Embed Views
- Embed Views
- creating a style for every n-th item in a list
- incremental classes when grouping multiple cck values in views
- Custom CCK Formats
- Blueprint Grid Overlay in the Browser
- Grid Nirvana - How to Easily Incorporate Blueprint into Photoshop
- running cron.php from crontab
- redirect traffic from a subdomain to the root
- Theming a page by arbitrary content types
- Bloomsday Gives Joyceans a Reason to Love Philadelphia
- Get the path to a Drupal module or theme
- IE doesn't load stylesheets / IE doesn't load conditional comment stylesheets
- IE6 PNG Fix
- Watch nEW Festival Artist Interviews on StreetTalkin.com
- Add a custom ID to menu items based on the text in the link
- Even out different date fields across content types
- Embed Views2 blocks w/ PHP
- EmField Error: "Sorry, you need to install flash to see this content."
- Views2: Find the first NID from another view to use as an argument
- Watch WHYY: Experience Philadelphia Young Playwrights
- delete .svn folders from the cli
- Convert string to CSS friendly text
- Display taxonomy terms from one vocabulary id
- Web Design and Drupal Internship Available
- DrupalCon DC as a mind map
- Canary at DrupalCon DC
- Canary Promotion + Design seeks Web Designer/Developer
- PR/Marketing Internship Opening
- custom jQuery accordion menu function for drupal primary menu
- South Street offers empty storefronts to artists
- Client Testimonial: Neil Baldwin
- DrupalCamp Philly
- memory error: Fatal error: Allowed memory size of ...
- Complaint Choir on CBS 3!
- The 6 Dangerous Fallacies of Social Media
- Inaugural BarCamp Philly to be held November 8
- Treehouse of Horror: Canary Pumpkins Rule the Night
- First Person Festival
- calibrate your monitor
- Val Emmich, Little Daggers
- Ben Franklin persists
- Rock 'n' Roll at The Wilma Theater
- Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton on SNL
- Help Elect Barack Obama. We can't afford to lose this.
- Connecting to MYSQL via terminal
- Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe: in print, online & on the air
- Live Arts Festival’s Kate Watson-Wallace talks Car in PW cover story
- Take the A List Apart Survey for People Who Make Websites
- White Screen of Death [WSOD] on form Submit
- find and delete files in ssh
- Mauckingbird's R&J in the Inquirer
- Girls Rock Camp on MTV
- Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia
- Philly's New Culture Chief
- First Person Impressions
- Mayor Nutter announces Arts & Culture Office
- split arrays into two for multiple columns
- Placing the contents of a block in any location
- Free your content of PHP: Moving PHP code out of blocks, views and nodes
- How to Call Attention to Yourself
- Ben Franklin & Betsy Ross Wedding
- Delete nodes programatically through Drupal
- Backup/Restore MySQL via SSH if you can't access phpmyadmin
- Drupal user guides
- Clean URLs on IIS
- Why good design matters
- Bloomsday at the Rosenbach today!
- ffmpeg, the flashvideo module and testing locally on Windows
- Browser detection in PHP
- Drupal Meetup at Canary Recap
- Sendak on Sendak on Video
- adding the servername to site5 nameservers
- clean urls on site5 before the domain is active
- Creating email addresses on Site5
- Vote Early, Vote Obama
- Views Theming Wizard output incorrect
- remotely connect to mysql server - Site5
- File permissions
- wait for full page to load (not just the DOM) when resizing elements with jquery
- Emulate word-wrap in Mozilla Firefox
- 500 Internal Server Error upon uploading site to Site5
- Lost Weekend: SXSWi 2008
- MYSQL ERROR: "MySQL server has gone away"
- Day One at SXSW
- SXSW Marathon, or, Will We Really Get to All 30 Panels?
- My loony bun is fine, Benny Lava.
- Dispatches from Google chat: Jon Stewart strikebuster edition.
- The Museum of Baby Heads
- WING TIPS: Canary's Favorite Things - Cool Gifts for the Holidays
- Best Potential Client Inquiry Ever
- White Board: Stinky
- Just a few vacation photos
- machines machines machines... featured on FOX Philadelphia!
- How to talk to the media
- Cold Rock The Auction Block
- Where the Wild Things Are
- Take the Chekhov Lizardbrain Challenge
- I leave for SXSW this week
- Anton Chekhov is Taking Over Philadelphia
- Snow Days
- The Hoohah Monologues
- It's the Arts, stupid
- Little Fat Man Who Sold His Soul
- Wing Tip - Tour the UK
- Image Makeover with Paul Mecurio
- Happy Birthday, Megan!
- PhillyHistory.org on Phawker.com
- Doin' the Wife Swap Rock
- Canary on Breakthruradio
- New Play Festival site online
- Michael Cera - Impossible is the Opposite of Possible
- Canaryist, Part Two
- A John Dorian Christmas, or, You're a Good Man, JD
- December Wing Tips
- Donate to a music community friend
- Media Darling
- Will It Blend?
- I've obviously had hundreds of girlfriends.
- His Dark Materials musings in this week's Philadelphia City Paper
- Paris by night
- Canary Nabs Philadelphia City Paper Choice Award
- Live Arts/Philly Fringe recap, Sept. 9-16
- Live Arts/Philly Fringe recap, Sept. 5-8
- Amnesia Curiosa
- Proper Manners and Haunting Houses
- Still Unknown
- Dark times in trucks and the old west
- Cheerleaders, strippers and puppets, oh my!