Spelling: Affect/effect

April 25, 2002: Issue 20

SIM STYLE: Why do I have such a hard time spelling Greg Scheidemann’s name?
I don’t know, but you’re certainly not alone. It’s wrong so often, it warrants its own style point this week. Please note the proper spelling below.
CORRECT: Greg Scheidemann

For more photographer credits see Issues 122663, or Credits section of the SIM Stylebook.

GRAMMAR: What’s the difference between “affect” and “effect”?
Context is important. MOST of the time, “affect” is the verb and “effect” is the noun.
correct: How will the changes affect the building industry?
correct: The long-term effects are uncertain.

But here’s the wrench. Though seldom used, “affect” is also a noun
that describes feelings (“affected” is a common adjective for the hoity- toity crowd). “Effect” is also a verb that means “to bring about.”
correct: She walks around with a gloomy affect.
correct: Her coworkers plan an intervention to effect a change in her demeanor.

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Special Issues: 300th issue video

August 6, 2009: Issue 300

This is our 300th issue of Style on the Go. Lets take a look at how much the world has shifted since we began.

 

 

 

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Special Issue: William Safire

October 1, 2009: Issue 308

William Safire, 1929–2009

William Safire died Sunday at age 79. You didn’t have to agree with the speeches he wrote for President Richard Nixon or with the ultraconservative columns he wrote for The New York Times to appreciate the man’s knowledge—and love—of words.

His “On Language” column was a fixture in the New York Times Magazine for 20 years. He tracked modern word uses, traced archaic meanings, and sometimes showed us that a “new” term or definition was already centuries old.

Safire’s classic “Rules for Writers,” which he compiled in 1979, still reach new readers every day thanks to e-mail forwards and social media. Among them: “Remember to never split an infinitive.” “Don’t use no double negatives.” “Avoid commas, that are not necessary.”

RIP, Mr. Safire. (He would certainly have pointed out that RIP stands for the Latin requiescat in pace, meaning “rest in peace.”)

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SIM/Procedure: Special Interest Publications

June 16, 2005: Issue 94

When you refer to Special Interest Publications or one of its groups, capitalize only the full proper names. Otherwise, use lowercase.
correct: Better Homes and Gardens® Special Interest Publications Family Food Collection
correct: Better Homes and Gardens® special interest garden magazines
correct: Better Homes and Gardens® design publications

NOTE: Special Interest Publications gets a ® only on cover overlines.

In the stylebook

Can’t remember how to make that pesky thin space? Or that dimension X? See the Computer Commands section of BHGStylebook.com.

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SIM/Procedure: SIM website titles

July 5, 2007: Issue 195

NOTE: SIM style on Web site names changed in October 2007. See the new rules.

Site seeing, part I

Website names are proper nouns. When we name a website in body text, the first letter or a logical internal letter must be capped. (We don’t use quotation marks or italics.) Other internal letters may be capped as well. Because we don’t break up a site name with spaces, these capitalized letters help a reader process the name. That’s crucial if we expect her to enter the name in a Web browser.

Here are standard capitalizations for SIM websites:
AllPeopleQuilt.com
bhgScrapbooksEtc.com
DiabeticLivingOnline.com
DIYideas.com
HeartHealthyOnline.com
KitchenBathIdeas.com
RemodelingCenter.com

Sentence capitalization rules still apply: The first letter is always up, whether it’s the t in the, the m in Meredith, or the e in eBay.

In display type, key letters can be emphasized with a type treatment other than caps—weight or size, for instance:
allpeoplequilt.com
diyideas.com

Please note that we’re talking about site names, not URLs. When you list a complete Web address, include the www or http:// and don’t capitalize anything:
www.allpeoplequilt.com
www.diyideas.com

Next week: Redirects.

On SIMStylebook.com: Find more about handling website names.

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SIM/Procedure: SIM style changes

July 18, 2002: Issue 30

SIM STYLE: It’s like, you know …
“Like” and other common combining forms, such as “multi,” “proof,” and “side” are joined to words WITHOUT a hyphen.
incorrect: suede-like fabric
correct: suedelike fabric, multilevel house, waterproof material, bedside table

Note: DO use a hyphen if the combined word would bring together three identical consonants.
incorrect: wallless living area
correct: wall-less living area

Note: DO use a hyphen if the combining form joins with a proper name.
incorrect: Eameslike chair
correct: Eames-like chair

Note: DO use a hyphen if the combining form creates a word with a different meaning.
incorrect: multiply plastic
correct: multi-ply plastic

For more information, see the Hyphens section in the SIM Stylebook or Issue 71.

GRAMMAR: What’s the difference between imply and infer?
If you are speaking and you mean to suggest or hint, you are implying something. If your listener picks up on your hint, he or she is inferring something. Speakers (and writers) imply; listeners (and readers) infer.

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SIM/Procedure: SIM manuscripts

January 8, 2004: Issue 73

SIM STYLE: The way we do the things we do
Now that we’re back into the swing of things after the holidays, we continue our focus on SIM routing procedures. Remember to send your questions my way, and I’ll make sure they get addressed in an upcoming issue.

THIS WEEK: Manuscripts
• All manuscripts should route to CEs in story folders. (In a few cases, when nothing more than a hard copy of a Word file is routing, it’s OK to simply attach a routing slip to the printout.)
Why it matters: A story folder helps ensure that the appropriate materials remain together throughout the early editing process. We have, in the past, received stacks of Word printouts, film envelopes, illustrations, etc., all held together by a single paper clip. With the majority of our magazines being sent outside the building for freelance copy editing, do you really want to trust your film to a single paper clip?

• Before routing a manuscript, be sure the correct Word file is clearly labeled in the appropriate folder on the SIM server; its name should match that on the routing slip.

• Attach a completed routing slip to the story folder. Things a story folder should include, where applicable: hard copy of story, film or color copies (or a copy of the photo order if final film is not available), illustrations (or description of illustrations if not done), and floor plans (or a copy of roughs, if final plans are not done).

Things a story folder should not include: red-dot film, original field-editor manuscript (unless there’s a reason to route it with the story).

For more information, see Issue 7274.

GRAMMAR: When do I hyphenate numbers and the words they modify?
A 7-year-old boy is, obviously, 7 years old. A 12-inch-tall plant is, obviously, 12 inches tall. But my point here isn’t to state the obvious; it’s to demonstrate that numbers and the words they modify need only be hyphenated as compound adjectives. When a unit of measure serves as a noun, and the number its adjective, don’t hyphenate.

Tip: Look to the word form for help. Note that in the examples below, “inches” becomes “inch” as part of an adjective; “feet” becomes “foot.”
incorrect: Dig the hole to a depth of 3-inches.
correct:Dig the hole to a depth of 3 inches.
incorrect: Plant the seeds in a 3 inch deep hole.
correct: Plant the seeds in a 3-inch-deep hole. (Notice that the entire compound adjective is hyphenated.)
incorrect: The lot measures 60×100-feet.
correct: The lot measures 60×100 feet.
incorrect: The house sits on a 60×100 foot lot.
correct: The house sits on a 60×100-foot lot.

For more information, see Issue 58.
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SIM/Procedure: SIM layouts

January 29, 2004: Issue 74

SIM STYLE: The way we do the things we do
We continue our focus on SIM routing procedures. Remember to send your questions my way, and I’ll make sure they get addressed in an upcoming issue.

THIS WEEK: First-proof layouts
• Layouts route on their own. Once a story reaches layout stage, stash away the story folder somewhere and route only the layout with the routing slip attached.
Why it matters: Why risk losing film or other story-folder contents? The layout is all that’s needed.

• Before routing a first-proof layout to CEs, make sure the story is copyfit; captions, sidebars, liftouts, charts, and other story elements are real text; and standing elements such as credits, resources lines, Web refers, running titles, and end bugs are in place.
Why it matters: Making a first proof as complete as possible saves everyone time on reroutes and spot checks later. There may be times when it makes sense to route a first proof even if not all elements are complete (such as when you’re waiting for product price information or for a final illustration). In those cases, indicate on the layout which elements are not final.

• If a story is in the “At CEs” folder, do not make changes to the electronic document (no matter how seemingly insignificant). If you must make a change while a story is in the “At CEs” folder, ask to get the layout back from your lead CE or group liaison first. Why it matters: Stories in the “At CEs” folder have been sent on disk to freelancers outside the building. Once returned, those files are copied back onto the server. Any changes that were made while a story is in the “At CEs” folder will be lost when the file is saved over. Remember, regardless of where a file resides on the server, only the person in possession of the routing slip should make changes to it.

For more information, see Issue 7273.

GRAMMAR: What’s the difference between “lineal” and “linear”?
“Lineal” refers to pattern—things arranged in lines. It may also refer to a line of ancestry. “Linear” refers to a single dimension, and in our magazines it’s the word we want in most uses.
incorrect: The countertop costs $50 per lineal foot.
correct: The countertop costs $50 per linear foot.
incorrect:To define spaces, the designer arranged the furniture in a linear fashion.
correct: To define spaces, the designer arranged the furniture in a lineal fashion.

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SIM/Procedure: SIM color rule II

November 13, 2003: Issue 71
SIM STYLE: Color rule redux
Which of the following examples is hyphenated correctly?
example one: The room’s focal point is a forest green wall.
example two: The room’s focal point is a cherry-red wall.

Would you believe both are correct? SIM style is to defer to Webster’s 11th on hyphenation of colors—in all uses. “Forest green” is in Web 11 as two words, so that’s how it appears in SIM copy, even as an adjective. “Cherry red” is not in Web 11, so just as with any other compound adjective, it’s hyphenated.

When faced with a color question, start by looking it up in Web 11. If the color appears there, you’re in the clear: Treat it the same way in all uses. If a color is not in Web 11, SIM style generally follows standard rules of hyphenation. The new (updated May 2003) step-by-step color rule in the SIM Stylebook will help you with any specific color. Just start with Step 1 and continue answering “yes” or “no” until you find the correct style.

Note: Two-color combinations, such as “blue-green” and “orange-red” are always hyphenated.

For more information see Issue 30.

GRAMMAR: Do “if” and “whether” mean the same thing?
No, they don’t. These conjunctions are used in much the same way, but the two have distinctly different meanings that are often confused. Use “if,” which means “in the event that,” to signify a conditional—a hypothetical event, probable or improbable. Use “whether,” which means “if it happens that,” to signify two or more alternatives.
correct: If it rains today, the event will be canceled.
correct: If Shelly can’t make it, Juanita will go in her place.
correct:She said that if she can’t attend, Juanita will make the presentation.
incorrect: Shelly doesn’t know yet if she can go.
correct:Shelly doesn’t know yet whether she can go.
correct: The presentation will be made regardless of whether Shelly attends.
incorrect: Shelly asked if she had researched costs.
correct:Shelly asked whether she had researched costs.
correct: Juanita wasn’t sure whether the cost information was accurate.

Note: “Whether or not” is redundant. The “or not” is implied. Just say “whether.”
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