Great Aunt or Grand Aunt: What am I?

 

Compliments of guest blogger, Dawn Marks

This year marks the third year in a row that two babies have been welcomed into my family within a 12- month period. Noooo! Not me.  My nieces and nephews are getting married and starting their families.  Early this week, my nephew’s wife welcomed an
8-pound baby — Asa — into the family.  My mom, sister and I got on a conference call and gushed over pictures of the new bundle of joy.  Handsome little fella.

I talked about how our family is busting at the seams with babies and proudly talked about my status as great aunt.  I joked that I know I’m great and that I’m an aunt, but am I really a great aunt or a grand aunt?   My mother’s mother is my grandmother, and her sister….well, is she a grand aunt or my great aunt?

According to ancestry.com, the sister or brother of one of my grandparents is a grand aunt or uncle. Grand indicates that it one generation away and great is for generations beyond that. However, colloquialism has settled on calling grand aunts and uncles, great aunts and uncles.

Whether you call me grand aunt or great aunt, know that I’m an aunt and I plan to be a great one. Welcome to Asa and the other one that’s on his way!

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A Tool for Those Who Edit

Whether you’re doing a quality control check of your own work or you’re an editor of another person’s good work, this checklist is a thorough tool. You may not need to address all the items, but whatever you need is in here. This tool has kept me on track on many projects. Please feel free to use it for yours.

Editing checklist

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How many words will fit on a page?

wordperpg-info.jpg

For more help in putting your best word forward, check out editsbymarks.com. Then drop me a line at dmeditorialsolutions@gmail.com.

 

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More on why we need a style guide

Check out this post from Iva Cheung for more on the critical need to have a well-thought-out style guide for your organization’s communications.

House style and the zombie apocalypse: How a poorly thought-out style guide can cost you

See my post on this topic

For help in creating your house style guide, go to send me an e-mail.

Visit editsbymarks.com for more information.

 

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Punctuation for lists (Part 2)

Display lists are ideal when you want to list three or more items in your document. It is easier for your readers to follow, since they are visually itemized and easier to remember and make reference to the issues being addressed.

There are two ways to create a display list. Either introduce the list with a complete sentence (this is the ideal way) or introduce the list with a phrase or word. Punctuation plays a major role either way.

In Part 1, we examined the list introduced by a complete sentence.  Here is an example the other way to write a display list. Pay particular attention to the use of punctuation in each case.

Example of list introduced by an incomplete sentence

Seven things to include when you pack for your vacation are—

  • a tube of toothpaste, because most hotels never have toothpaste available;
  • a phone charger and cord (buying a new one may be expensive);
  • sunscreen products, for protection from head to toe;
  • an umbrella, because weather happens;
  • enough of your medication, to avoid the inconvenience of getting them refilled;
  • your favorite snacks—cheaper than buying them in a store on site; and
  • a box of large plastic baggies, for shells and trinkets you may pick up and for clothes you don’t get to wash.

Notice the punctuation in the list. The introduction is a phrase, followed by a long (em) dash. Using no punctuation here is also acceptable.

Each bulleted item ends with a semicolon and not a comma because some of the bulleted items contain punctuation (commas). The penultimate bulleted is followed by the word “and.” The last item ends with a period end with a period.

What if all the items were short phrases?

Seven things to include when you pack for your vacation are—

  • a tube of toothpaste,
  • a phone charger and cord,
  • sunscreen products,
  • an umbrella,
  • enough of your medication,
  • your favorite snacks, and
  • a box of large plastic baggies.

Notice that none of the bulleted items has any punctuation. Each one is a short phrase (not a complete sentence). Therefore, you can use a comma after each bulleted item, and use a period at the end of the last bulleted item. Note: This list also might be numbered, since a number (7) is mentioned in the introductory sentence.

Go to editsbymarks.com for help with all your writing and editing needs.

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Punctuation for lists (Part 1)

DISPLAY LISTS ARE IDEAL when you want to list three or more items in your document. birdsIt is easier for your readers to follow, since they are visually itemized and easier to remember and make reference to the issues being addressed.

There are two ways to create a display list. Either introduce the list with a complete sentence (this is the ideal way) or introduce the list with a phrase or word. Punctuation plays a major role either way.

Here is an example for you to refer to. Pay particular attention to the use of punctuation in each case.

Example of list introduced by a complete sentence

Here are seven things to include when you pack for your vacation:

  • A tube of toothpaste, because most hotels never have toothpaste available.
  • A phone charger and cord (buying a new one may be expensive).
  • Sunscreen products, for protection from head to toe.
  • An umbrella, because weather happens.
  • Enough of your medication, to avoid the inconvenience of getting them refilled.
  • Your favorite snacks, cheaper than buying them in a store on site.
  • A box of large plastic baggies, for shells and trinkets you may pick up and for clothes you don’t get to wash.

Notice the punctuation in the list. The introduction is a complete sentence, followed by a colon.

Each bulleted item ends with a period, even though they are phrases and not complete sentences.

The period is used at the end of each item because some of the bulleted items contain punctuation (commas). Therefore, all should end with a period.

What if all the items were short phrases?

Here are seven things to include when you pack for your vacation:

  • A tube of toothpaste
  • A phone charger and cord
  • Sunscreen products
  • An umbrella
  • Enough of your medication
  • Your favorite snacks
  • A box of large plastic baggies

Notice that none of the bulleted items has any punctuation. Each one is a short phrase (not a complete sentence). Therefore, there is no need to have any punctuation within this list.

Note: This list might also be numbered, since a number (7) is mentioned in the introductory sentence.

 In my next post, I will talk about a display list that is introduced by a phrase or a word.

 

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Question: That or which?

Which word is better to use? That depends on whether your meaning is restrictive or nonrestrictive.

 

If the information in your sentence applies to something specific in the sentence, then it is restrictive (it applies to one thing or one group of things). In that case, use “that.”

Example: The umbrellas that are on sale have red tags.

This implies that not all the umbrellas are on sale, only those with the red tags.

 

If the information in your sentence applies to all things defined in the sentence, then it is nonrestrictive (there are no limits or specifications). In that case, use “which.”

Example: The umbrellas, which are on sale, have red tags.

This implies that all the umbrellas have red tags.

 

What message are you trying to convey? Are you talking about everything or specific things? Using the right word will send the message you want to send.

Contact editsbymarks.com for help in putting your best word forward from a professional editor.

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