Welcome to Elevenses, a monthly round-up of my favorite articles and resources related to language, writing, editing, and freelancing.

The Guardian | Back to Prep School →

This is an endearing article on the use of prepositions, including a brief study of how prepositions get assigned to phrases ("bored by," "bored of," or "bored with"?) and a lighthearted reminder about the importance of choosing the right preposition.

The Write Practice | How to Avoid Bad Writing →

"Awkward writing is common, and I believe that it’s actually a good sign. Awkward writing means that you are writing and have begun to silence your inner critic." The advice in this post is intended for inexperienced writers but has value to anyone who enjoys writing or editing. It really does help to read what you wrote out loud, and it really does help to pursue plain language by shortening sentences, using the active voice, etc.

 I cherish my local library (and the librarians who make it such a pleasant place to visit).

I cherish my local library (and the librarians who make it such a pleasant place to visit).

Mental Floss | 11 Ridiculously Overdue Library Books →

I have lived my entire life in fear of having an overdue library book, so I am thoroughly surprised by how much I enjoyed this article. (Also, I am very grateful to my own local library for having a $10 cap on fees.)

Gadgette | Oxford Dictionaries Sort-of Apologizes for Laughing at Feminists →

Start with the original story and then read the article linked above. The issue at hand is obviously a complicated one that cannot be summarized in two short essays, but the situation reminds me that I am very grateful to have the opportunity to discuss the importance of language (and that English is a living language that can be revised as our culture grows in empathy).

Copyediting | What Is Proofreading? →

Before I entered the world of professional copy editing and proofreading, I might have used the two words interchangeably—or defined copy editing as "advanced proofreading." In fact, I still have work to do in differentiating between the two services on my own website, but this is the exact post I will be referring to as I make those changes.