Quickie Editing Questions

July 9, 2015

This week we've had a range of questions thrown our way. Hopefully some of our editors' responses will help to clear things up a little for you. Thanks to HTE's editors and betas for their input.


Q. Is worst case scenario hyphenated?


A. Per M-W, yes. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worst-case We LOVE M-W and always have it handy to triple check such instances. if in doubt, double check. 


Q. Blonde vs blond, is there a difference? 


A. This is a deeply rooted French rule, which has been adopted by the English language. Blonde with an e is used in the feminine form and therefore is used when describing a woman's hair. Blond without an e is used in the masculine form and is used to decribe a man's hair. 


Q. Do I always capitalise words like Mum and Dad? 

Words like mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa sometimes require a capital and sometimes do not. It all depends on the context in which the words are used. Here are the rules: If there’s a personal pronoun—my, our, her—in front of the family role, there’s not a capital letter. It’s merely an identification, not a name: my mom, our dad, here grandma—like his dog, their cat, my eel. However, if there’s no personal pronoun, and you’re using the word as though it’s a first name, then do capitalise it: I asked Mom for some cash; I hollered for Dad to come help me with my homework; she loves Grandma’s home-baked pies. 


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