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…

word wednesday

A new word for me: fungible. Definition?

1 : being something (such as money or a commodity) of such a nature that one part or quantity may be replaced by another equal part or quantity in paying a debt or settling an account
2 : capable of mutual substitution
3 : readily changeable to adapt to new situations

Synonyms for fungible include interchangeable and flexible. I like to think that this blog’s content is fungible.

word wednesdayNaturally, my first word for Word Wednesday is eccentric. What does it mean? Here’s the following definition from Merriam-Webster, my dictionary of choice:

1 a : deviating from conventional or accepted usage or conduct especially in odd or whimsical ways
1 b : deviating from an established or usual pattern or style
2 a : deviating from a circular path
2 b : located elsewhere than at the geometric center

Usage: The editor was eccentric in her editing style and lifestyle habits. (Ha.)