Archive | January, 2013

ChanteSez … Hyphens keep things connected

31 Jan

Quick one today: Words that have a “re” prefix require a hyphen if the compound word starts with “e.”

Think of it this way: “Re” with an “e” needs a hyphen.

A few examples:

  • re-enlist
  • re-enact
  • re-elect
  • re-energize

ChanteSez … We all make mistakes, but we can fix them

23 Jan

Sometimes we just have to accept that we’re going to make mistakes. The good news is that we can fix them.

What I love about Meredith Esham, Fauve Holihan, Daryl Smith O’Hare and Laurie Parker is that they love me regardless of my flaws. I love them right back. And I am so very grateful for the friendship, good laughs and wise words we shared recently. These amazing ladies inspired today’s ChanteSez, and they inspire me in general.

Back to today’s tip.

Rather than stress out about the errors you repeatedly make, create a hit list with their correct counterparts.

Here’s a list of a few common errors. (The correct spelling is listed first, when applicable.)

  • Quite vs. quiet: You may very well mean a lower noise volume (quiet), but reread your sentence to make sure you’ve spelled it properly. Spell-check won’t catch this one!
  • Spigot vs. spicket: Gotta love regional dialect, and the misspellings that result from it. Despite many in the South pronouncing it “spicket,” the correct spelling is “spigot.”
  • Judgment vs. judgement: I’m told that even first-year law students constantly get this wrong.
  • Separate vs. seprate: Again, blame the way this word is spoken for how it’s often misspelled.
  • Cemetery vs. cemetary: Ditto!

ChanteSez … What happened to radio?

16 Jan

I miss local DJs on major stations. I was the kid who used to call in to Chicago’s WGCI-FM on Friday nights while listening to the hip-hop show. I loved feeling like part of the show, winning tickets, and of course, the music.

These days, either Steve Harvey is dishing out advice to misguided women, or Michael Baisden is promoting his latest project/book/fundraiser. I hold Tom Joyner in special regard because he started in Chicago, but still. It’s sad that the few local announcers on major stations are relegated to midday or evening timeslots.

Not to mention the biggest and most widely acknowledged disappointment: The music selection is more corporate demand than listener requested.

Thank goodness for independent stations like WRFG-FM and WMLB-AM, and DJs such as Ausar, Tabone and Jay Force.

Regardless, when it comes to radio stations, there’s a certain way to reference them in your writing.

  • Use all caps for the call letters, and a hyphen to designate whether it’s an AM or FM station: WGCI-FM, WRAS-FM
  • For clarity, add the dial position in parentheses: WGCI-FM (107.5), WRAS-FM (88.5), WRFG-FM (89.3)
  • For station abbreviations and nicknames, the cap-and-hyphen rule applies: V-103, the People’s Station

On that last tip, make sure the station is generally known by the abbreviation, especially if you’re writing for an audience outside of the station’s city or state. Try to avoid the self-proclaimed nicknames (the People’s Station, the Voice of the Arts) unless it specifically relates to the story.

ChanteSez … Lose the extras

9 Jan

So often, less is more.

So I’ll keep today’s grammar tip brief.

Lose the extra “o” that is wrongly forced into “recurring.”

  • Wrong: Reoccuring
  • Right: Recurring

Do the same for the “en” that incorrectly starts “titled.”

  • Wrong: Entitled
  • Right: Titled

ChanteSez … Let’s do better in the new year!

2 Jan

Happy New Year, everyone!

Mine is off to a good start. Rather than resolutions, about three weeks ago I wrote down six affirmations for different areas of my life.

I’m excited to say that my new year reflected many of them! I traveled to a place I’d never been, and spent time with friends and family, strengthening the bonds I have with them.

How about you? How are things going two days in?

Today’s lesson: In reference to the holiday surrounding the new year, capitalize it. If you’re using it in general terms, like I did in the prior sentence, go lower-case. A few examples:

  • I spent New Year’s Eve doing some of my favorite things.
  • Happy New Year!
  • I plan to relax more in the new year.