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Clichés  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.315
Item type: 
section
Clichés are worn-out expressions (sleep like a log, dead as a doornail, first and foremost, crystal clear). At one time they were clever metaphors, but overuse has left them lifeless, unable to ... More

Collective Nouns  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.326
Item type: 
section
A collective noun is one that names more than 1 person, place, or thing. When the group is regarded as a unit, the singular verb is the appropriate choice. (See also , Plurals, Collective Nouns.)The ... More

Compound Subject  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.327
Item type: 
section
When 2 words or 2 groups of words, usually joined by and or or, are the subject of the sentence, either the singular or plural verb form may be appropriate, depending on whether the words joined are ... More

Contractions  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.307
Item type: 
section
A contraction consists of 2 words combined by omitting 1 or more letters (eg, can't, aren't). An apostrophe shows where the omission has occurred. Contractions are usually avoided in formal writing.

Correlative Conjunctions.  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.317
Item type: 
section
Parallelism may rely on accepted cues (either/or, neither/nor, not only/but also, both/and). All elements of the parallelism that appear on one side of the coordinating conjunction should match ... More
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Diction  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.021.136
Item type: 
section
Diction, or word choice, is important for any writing to be understood by its intended audience. In scientific writing, concrete and specific language is preferred over the abstract and general. ... More

Double Negatives  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.305
Item type: 
section
Two negatives used together in a sentence constitute a double negative. The use of a double negative to express a positive is acceptable, although it yields a weaker affirmative than the simpler ... More

Elliptical Comparisons  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.318
Item type: 
section
The conjunction than often introduces an abridged expression (eg, “You are younger than I [am young]).” Correct placement of than is important to avoid ambiguity:

Euphemisms  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.314
Item type: 
section
Euphemisms (from the Greek eu, “good,” and pheme, “voice”) are indirect terms used to express something unpleasant. Although such language is often necessary in social situations (“He passed away.”), ... More

Every and Many a  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.330
Item type: 
section
When every or many a is used before a word or series of words, use the singular verb form.Many a clinician does not understand statistics. (But, better yet: Many clinicians do not understand ... More

False Plurals  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.324
Item type: 
section
Some nouns, by virtue of ending in a “plural” -s form, are mistakenly taken to be plurals even though they should be treated as singular and take a singular verb (eg, measles, mumps, mathematics, ... More

False Singulars  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.323
Item type: 
section
A few plural nouns are used so often in the singular that they are often paired with a singular verb.The agenda has been set for our next meeting. Frequently treated erroneously in this way are the ... More
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Grammar  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
eISBN: 
9780195382846
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.003.0007
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780195176339
A clear understanding of grammar is basic to good writing. Many excellent grammar books provide a detailed discussion of specific principles (see 25.3, Resources, General Style and Usage). ... More

Homonyms  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.312
Item type: 
section
Homonyms are words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are easily confused, and computer spell-check programs are unable to differentiate them. Common ... More

Idioms, Colloquialisms, and Slang  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.313
Item type: 
section
Some language is best avoided in material written for a professional or academic audience. Idioms are fixed expressions that cannot be understood literally (kick the bucket, on a roll, put up with, ... More

Indefinite Pronouns  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.300
Item type: 
section
Indefinite pronouns refer to nonspecific persons or things. Most indefinite pronouns express the idea of quantity and share properties of collective nouns (see , Subject-Verb Agreement, Collective ... More

Intervening Phrase  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.322
Item type: 
section
Plural nouns take plural verbs and singular nouns take singular verbs, even if a phrase ending in a plural noun follows a singular subject or if a phrase ending in a singular noun follows a plural ... More

Lists  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.320
Item type: 
section
Parallel construction is also important in lists, whether run in or set off by bullets or some other device (see Enumerations in , Punctuation, Comma, Semicolon, Colon, Semicolon, and , Numbers and ... More

Misplaced Modifiers  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.309
Item type: 
section
Misplaced modifiers result from failure to make clear what is being modified. Illogical or ambiguous placement of a word or phrase can usually be avoided by placing the modifying word or phrase ... More
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Modifiers  

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.021.135
Item type: 
section
A modifier describes another word or word group. Words, phrases (groups of words without a subject or predicate, usually introduced by a preposition or conjunction), and clauses (groups of words with ... More

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