About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

Read more ...

Blog Search


(Supports AND)

Google Ads

Feed

Subscribe to the RSS feed for this blog.

See this post for info on full versus truncated feeds.

Quote

Most people prefer internal mechanisms for determining for themselves what is right and what is wrong, but perceive other people as needing to be regulated by laws.

— Antanas Mockus, mayor of Bogotá, Columbia



Navigation





<October 2020>
SMTWTFS
27282930123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
1234567

Categories

  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  

Contact Me

Email me

Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 9/26/2020

Totals
Posts - 2627
Comments - 2636
Hits - 2,303,889

Averages
Entries/day - 0.42
Comments/entry - 1.00
Hits/day - 365

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 8:08 AM Pacific


  11:53 AM

I'm on hiatus at the moment (more on that next week), but I did want to break radio silence briefly to note a couple of editorial things that I've run across recently.

The first is a variation on the common confusion between rein and reign. For example, people often write reign in when they mean rein in.[1] However, I've never personally seen that confusion extend to a context where it's this clear that we mean the straps you use on horses. This is from a Netflix capsule summary:


Maybe I just haven't been paying attention.

And a second one is just a somewhat curious use of the expression "+/-". This is familiar to me to suggest numerical tolerances. So I don't quite get the motivation for using it in this sentence from a running website:
Avoid running during the hottest part of the day. Listen to your body and stop exercising, find a shaded, cool area, and rehydrate (+/- seek medical attention) if you experience lightheadedness.
If I were writing this out, I'd write something like "and if necessary ...", but I've never seen +/- used to mean that. Do they mean and/or? If so, is +/- shorthand for that?


[1] Tho I think that this particular confusion is understandable, since to my mind reign in could be something that constitutions do to chief executives.

[categories]   ,

[1] |