Wilcox Editing

The Particular: Editing Weblog

Comma Between Adjectives? Part III: Approaching the Grey

If you’ve read parts I and II of my Comma Between Adjectives? series, you already have a lot to think about when making your decision about comma usage: are the adjectives coordinate or cumulative? Are they in fact adjectives, or are they modifying nouns? This post will give you one more way to think about the problem. It will also show that, even armed with all the analytical tools from parts I through III, you may encounter cases that defy a tidy understanding. »

Uproar over Amazon Retracting Select Kindle Editions

Uproar Over Amazon Retracting Select Kindle Editions : A storm is brewing in the Kindle Community forum about Amazon’s decision to remove e-book editions of George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm from customers’ devices.

Comma Between Adjectives? Part II: If It Walks Like a Duck But Has No Feathers . . .

Now that you know the difference between cumulative and coordinate adjectives, you might wonder, which kind of adjective is the word baseball in baseball cap? The word baseball describes the main noun cap, so would you ever place a comma between another modifer and baseball? »

Comma Between Adjectives?

You may have heard the prescription that two adjectives falling before a noun should be separated by a comma. In fact, the rules of English syntax are far more complex than this in the case of prenominal modifiers. Knowing the difference between coordinate and cumulative adjectives is an important piece of the puzzle. »

If You Kill All Your Darlings, You Will Die Alone

Many editors subscribe to William Faulkner’s famous advice that a writer should “kill her darlings,” ie. delete turns of phrase to which she is particularly attached. The rationale behind this bit of wisdom is that most times, the writer becomes attached to a word or phrase because she thinks it is especially literary or beautiful, not because it meshes and belongs so well in the piece. In fact, if a sentence does not mesh or move the piece of writing forward, it does not belong. But there are other remedies for this problem than cutting.  »


What Erin returned to me was not only better from a copyediting perspective, but a true enhancement of the manuscript. She preserved my style and ensured intentional stylistic quirks remained consistent. Her insight and editorial judgment were remarkable.”

Anita Felicelli,
Sparks Off You (Hen Flower Press, 2012)

The Particular: Editing Weblog