Ricky Martin: Ay, Ay, Ay, It’s Christmas

I do not know where I discovered this Ricky Martin song, but my guess is that Rosie O’Donnell had some kind of Christmas compilation (her voice makes an appearance in the song) and I managed to get my hands on it. My husband loathes this song. I find it fun and festive. I really cannot listen to the song without feeling happy. And FWIW, it’s the only Ricky Martin song I own.

Word Wednesday: Further vs Farther

Road

Even though I’m an editor enforcing many grammar rules, I know I don’t know it all.

Case in point: further vs farther.

At a previous job, I allowed the use of “farther” in an ad campaign, thinking it was completely interchangeable with “further.”

Boy, I could not be further mistaken.

The client questioning the wording was a global client, meaning it would’ve been translated into different languages. That was my first real-life introduction into learning that “farther” represents physical distance and “further” means metaphorical distance.

Sally ran farther in the marathon than Sam.

“Don’t dream it; do it. Take your business further.”

Grammar Girl provides a simple trick to remember which ones to use when—”far” refers to physical distance so you’ll always want “farther” when speaking literally.

Point of Grace: Emmanuel, God With Us

Point of Grace is an all-female Christian band (that I honestly haven’t kept up with over the years) that dropped one of my most favorite Christmas albums. It’s a classic to me and symbolizes the wonder and magnificence of Christmas. With a mix of Jesus-based songs and standard holiday fare, A Christmas Story is an all-around great Christmas album from a Christian group. Below is “Emmanuel, God With Us,” a beautiful song about reaching out to a stranger during the holiday season.

App Review: Gmail vs Inbox

Gmail vs Inbox

An app that took me a while to fall in love with, Gmail Inbox, is sunsetting in March 2019. (Only the good apps die young?) With the creation of Reminders, a feature for recurring tasks that integrates seamlessly into Gmail, I fell head over heels for Inbox. (I didn’t have much use for Inbox before Reminders.)

Reminders are mainly a feature of Google Calendar, but I loved the way it worked into Inbox, keeping me on my toes for daily emails and daily tasks. Google, for some reason, doesn’t have a dedicated app for Reminders, which I can only imagine are a popular feature (I think I’d die without Google Reminders), and it doesn’t seem to translate into Google Keep’s “Reminders” feature. (If anyone has this figured out, let me know.)

Apparently, the new Gmail, supposedly fueled by the best of Inbox’s features, now has a smart reply (suggesting complete thoughts before you even type them) and a snooze function if you want to treat your emails like tasks.

The one upgrade that I do like with the new Gmail app is the “All Inboxes” feature. I can view all my emails across all the Gmail accounts I have connected without having to switch back and forth between accounts. Inbox does NOT have this feature so Google has successfully converted me into using their revamped Gmail app.

The great thing about Inbox was that it became easy, and almost satisfying, to try and keep your inbox clean. Once you were done with an email, pressing a satisfying green check mark made you feel as though you had accomplished something. Hitting snooze helped put it out of sight temporarily to come back to later. “Pins” acted as Gmail’s “Star” function, keeping important emails or reminders top-of-mind.

As with all the amazing programs Google has killed, I will re-adapt to using the Gmail app. My only hope is that Google finds a way to integrate the Reminders feature into other programs outside Google Calendar. I figure Google Keep is the most intuitive program, but right now, I’m stuck with the dilemma of Google Calendar Reminders being totally different than Google Keep Reminders, and my friends, this should not be.

I will save my rant about the inferior Google Tasks for another day.

Beware: This is an AMA-style blog

AMA manual

I’m an editor of medical and pharmaceutical materials. In my industry, the predominant style manual is American Medical Association Manual of Style with the Chicago Manual of Style as a backup. As a result, my writing (and editing) is influenced by the AMA manual. On my blog, you’ll find the following:

  • Lack of punctuation use with certain words (vs, PhD, etc [unless it ends in a sentence])
  • Not defining a person by their condition (cancer patient vs patient with cancer)
  • Use of en dashes when necessary (non–small cell lung cancer)
  • Use of Arabic numerals for 1-9 instead of spelling it out
  • Not using a comma with numerals in the thousands, eg, 1000, 5000, 9999 (ten thousands and on get a comma)
  • Lack of hyphens when using prefixes, such as anti-, co-, over, pre-, post, or under (unless it makes words ambigious or awkward, eg, re-coveranti-abortion

Of course, this is a blog, informal writing, therefore, I’ll deviate from some of those rules at times (healthcare as one word; period after Dr.; a sentence beginning with an Arabic numeral), but for the most part, grammar and punctuation use that seem foreign may actually be intentional.

But all style manuals agree: The word “data” is plural, eg, data are, data were…