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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Letting Your Blog Visitors Research Your Plurals (-:

Kathe Gogolewski (author of Tato and other books) is my writing friend (some of you know her, I'm sure). She left this note on my War. Peace. Tolerance blog this week. I thought you'd like to see it as this week's tip. It's really from Kathe by way of me, I guess. (-:

What we're really talking about here is how many things that used to be rules ( RULES writ large!) are now style choices. In The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success, I talk about zero-tolerance rules to get our work past the gatekeepers. But more and more rules are soft. Still, that shouldn't make us lax.

Here is what Kathe found when researching my use of Iris vs. Irises in "How Iraq's Sand Is Like Iris -- Mother's Day 2008": As you'll see, even the explanations are a bit confusing! (-:

Kathe Gogolewski has left a new comment on your post "How Iraq's Sand Is Like Iris--Mother's Day 2008":

"And our young men and women in Iraq each deserve their own bouquet of Irises! (Incidentally, I had to look up the plural of "iris," because I noticed you did not use "irises." Turns out they are both in use today: "Iris" is used for both single and multiple plants of iris, and "irises" is used for multiple blossoms. I also read that "iris" can mean one plant or a collection of individual plants, and "irises" means a collection of groups of iris. Sounds like the English language, eh? There can be more than one interpretation! Once again, Carolyn, you got me hoppin'!"

Find Kathe at

Now, here's the surprise element. I only chose "Iris" as a plural rather than "Irises" because the length of the subject line for the blog was limited. Now, that's a very good reason to make one choice over another, don't you think? (-:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits and consults on issues of publishing. Find her The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success on Amazon. Learn more about her other authors' aids at

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