Ask PTB – Not Only, But Also

Richard recently asked “You spoke of using the correlative conjunctions ‘not only, but also’ with several different helpful examples, but there’s one example you did not present – when there are two singular subjects in a positive structure. What would we say in the following example:

  • Not only John, but also his wife is/are going to graduate.
  • Not only he, but also she is/are going to graduate.

Do we use ‘is’ or ‘are’ here? We are talking about both subjects doing something.”

When you have two singular words joined by not only . . . but also, the subject is singular and so you use a singular verb. This would cover your examples. Both words are singular–“John” and “wife,” “he” and “she.” So the correct word in both cases would be “is.”

  • Not only John but also his wife is going to graduate.
  • Not only he but also she is going to graduate.

You should also notice that there are no commas in that sentence. Most sources I reviewed said there would be no commas unless it was confusing. I don’t think that fits here.

Thanks for the question, Richard, and I hope you got the answer you were looking for. If anyone still has questions, check out the blog post “Not Only More Subject/Verb Agreement But Also Intervening Clauses” for more information about this and more or Ask PTB at the tab above.

Ask PTB – Emphasis Added

A reader recently asked, “I am writing a lengthy article that contains many quotes. From time to time, I will bold a portion of the quote for the sake of emphasis. I normally include an ’emphasis added’ in the citation to the source of the quote. Instead of adding ’emphasis added’ so many times throughout the article, would it be permissible to state upfront in a footnote or after the use of the first ’emphasis added’ that throughout the entire article, whenever the reader sees a portion of a quote bolded, it is my ’emphasis added’? That way I will not have to clutter the reading with so many ’emphasis added.’

Everything I find says that the phrase “emphasis added” should appear after the citation according to The Bluebook and immediately after the italicized words or in parentheses immediately after the quotation according to the Gregg Reference Manual and similar language in the APA and CMOS materials.

HOWEVER, I can see that adding that every single time would make an article very difficult to read, so unless it is a legal document or article subject to The Bluebook, I personally would appreciate the addition of an explanation of the bolding structure in quotations in one place (and probably at the first instance it is used) instead of every single time. While I can’t back that up with reference manual proof, for the readers’ sakes, I think it makes sense.

Thank you very much for the question! If you have a question that is bothering you, please Ask PTB by using the tab at the top of the proofthatblog.com page.

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:

  • ballot – a sheet of paper used to cast a secret vote
  • ballet – a theatrical art form using dancing, music, and scenery to convey a story, theme, or atmosphere

Memory tips:

  • ballot – remember the “o” is the same as in vOte
  • ballet – I just think of the sound I would make if I was on tippy toes “EEEEEEE”

ENCORE – Happy Thanksgiving!

ThanksgivingHere is an article that was posted on November 28, 2013, that is still appropriate today. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thinking about Thanksgiving here in the United States got me thinking about the names of holidays and grammar rules. For instance, if you use Eve or Day with the name of a holiday, i.e., Thanksgiving Day, you capitalize day. However, if you were to say “the day before Thanksgiving,” day would not be capitalized. Religious holidays are also capitalized

  • Good Friday
  • Hanukkah

Even some “invented” holidays are capitalized

  • Black Friday
  • Pi Day

Is happy capitalized when used with a holiday? If you exclaim “Happy Thanksgiving!” then it is, but if you use it in a regular sentence “I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving,” then it is not.

Generally, the seasons of the year are not capitalized unless it is part of a proper name.

  • This winter seems to be colder than normal.
  • The Phoenix College Spring Semester 2014 will begin in January.
  • HOWEVER: The fall semester is nearly over.

When using seasons to describe the time of year, remember that seasons are reversed in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. When it is summer in the U.S., it is winter in most of South America and Australia. In that case, it is clearer to say “the first three months of the year,” or “the last quarter of 2014.”

As for possessives with the word “season,” the phrase Season’s greetings! is possessive because you are referring to holidays that happen only during one season—winter. Possessives with names of holidays are usually singular; however, where the holiday is plural, the apostrophe is after the plural word:

  • Presidents’ Day (celebrating more than one president)
  • April Fools’ Day (more than one fool)
  • Mother’s Day (each family celebrating its mother and it is the official name of the holiday)
  • Father’s Day (same)
  • HOWEVER: Veterans Day (official name of the holiday)

The official holiday name wins out over plurals and possessives, so you may just have to look it up to be positive you are correct.

I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and know that when I count my blessings, the people who read my blog faithfully, those who stumble across it, and those who cheer me on are near the top of my list. Thank you!

 

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.

http://proofthatblog.com/2018/10/26/grammar-giggle-our-you-sure-you-spelled-are-correctly/

http://proofthatblog.com/2018/10/29/grammar-giggle-what-kind-of-potatoes/

http://proofthatblog.com/2018/10/30/confusing-words-of-the-week-42/

http://proofthatblog.com/2018/10/31/another-set-of-eyes/

Replay Thursday

It’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 – Who’s

Grammar Giggles – Definetly

Our Normal Is Someone Else’s Perfect

Confusing Words of the Week

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:

  • Healthful – promoting health (e.g., a healthful food)
  • Healthy – being in good health (e.g., a healthy person)

Memory tips:

  • Healthful – Things that promote good health are full of health
  • Healthy – Things alreadin good health are healthy

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!

This week’s words are:

  • stationary –  fixed
    • The flagpole was stationary next to the garage.
  • stationery – writing materials
    • The pretty stationery added to my joy in receiving the letter.

Memory tips:

  • stationary – as in always in one place
  • stationery – as in letter.

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 – Thrity

Grammar Giggle – Every Day

Confusing Words of the Week

World’s Worst Proofreading Advice

 

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!

This week’s words are:

  • precedence – priority
    • He gave precedence to Sally, who had been waiting the longest.
  • precedents – established rules
    • He went by the precedents for Phase 10 even though his family used different rules
  • precedent – an established rule
    • The court went with the precedent set by statute.
  • president – the head of an organization
    • The president was elected at the meeting last night.

Memory tips:

  • Precedent/precedents – remember the “t” as following rules to the “t”