Confusing Words of the Week

It’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

Elicit – to draw forth

  • He was trying to elicit a confession from his son.

Illicit – Unlawful

  • Stealing a car is an illicit act.

Tips to help remember:

Illicit – Illegal

Elicit – think of the legs of the “e” as trying to pull something out of the “back” of the “e”

Replay Thursday

Thursday ReplayIt’s time for a review of recent blog posts just in case you’ve missed them. We call this Replay Thursday. Here are posts from Proof That proofreading blog and 60 Is The New 60 blog during the past week.

Emphasis Added

Step Back and Regroup

Grammar Giggle – Somthing Worse Did Happen

Grammar Giggle – Payements

Confusing Words of the Week

The Line

Confusing Words of the Week

Words of the WeekIt’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

A friend asked about some confusion over two words. Here they are as this week’s words:

  • inquire – ask for information from someone; investigate; look into.
  • enquire – ask for information from someone; investigate; look into.

Yes, they are the same. Traditionally, “enquire” meant to ask, while “inquire” was used for more formal investigation. In the UK, either word is appropriate, but “inquire” is most common. Here in the US, “inquire” is the preferred word.

So you would be correct to use “inquire” in the US when you are asking for information or investigating something, although “enquire” is not incorrect. And the same would be true in the UK.

Grammar Giggle – Payements

My news station comes through again. Apparently they have a different program or person proofreading titles than proofreading subtitles. It is spelled right there.

Payements

Replay Thursday

Thursday ReplayIt’s time for a review of recent blog posts just in case you’ve missed them. We call this Replay Thursday. Here are posts from Proof That proofreading blog and 60 Is The New 60 blog during the past week.

Grammar Giggle – Derserve

Grammar Giggle – Sneak Peak Part Three

Confusing Words of the Week

Grammar Giggles – 880%

 

Emphasis Added

Emphasis AddedI had a question during a presentation I was making about whether the phrase “emphasis added” when used with a quotation was treated in the same font as the emphasized language, for example, if the emphasized language is bolded, is the phrase “emphasis added” bolded?

According to the Bluebook Section 5.2(d)(i),

Use a parenthetical clause after the citation to indicate when the source quoted contains an addition of emphasis . . . .

Their example has the emphasized language italicized and the “emphasis added” in parentheses, but not italicized or bolded.

Other information I found shows the following:

She said she would consider “a very short extension of the deadline, but only under the most extraordinary circumstances [emphasis added].”

  • You can also note the emphasis outside the quotation using parenthesis and as a separate sentence:

She said she would consider “a very short extension of the deadline, but only under the most extraordinary circumstances.” (Emphasis added.)

  • Or you can put the parenthetical at the end of the sentence which contains the quotation:

She said she would consider “a very short extension of the deadline, but only under the most extraordinary circumstances” (emphasis added).

  • Most other sources indicate that the words “emphasis added” should be at the end of the sentence, either in parentheses and lowercase letters before the quoted sentence’s ending punctuation or in parenthesis with upper case “e” in “emphasis” after the quotation’s ending punctuation with a period within the parenthesis. See the examples above.

The one common thread through all the sources was to be careful not to overuse emphasis in your writing.

I did not find anywhere that the words “emphasis added” should ever be italicized or bolded to match the quoted language being emphasized. My suggestion is that since the Bluebook specifically says to use a parenthetical clause after the quotation and their example shows it added before the quotation’s ending punctuation as in the third example above, that would be the safest way to use it.