Mary D_DSC_0082_squareHi! I’m Kathy Ide. In addition to being a published author, I’m a full-time professional freelance editor. For CAN, I’m blogging about “PUGS”–Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling…tips for writers based on the most common mistakes I see in the manuscripts I edit. Each blog post will have one tip for each of the four categories. (For more PUGS tips, check out my website, or get a copy of my book Polishing the PUGS (available through the website or at the conferences where I teach). If you’re interested in working with a freelance editor (or know someone who is), e-mail me through the contact page of my website. Or go to the Christian Editor Network to get referrals to other established, professional editorial freelancers. If you’re a freelance editor yourself, or think you might be interested in that field, check out The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network.



Words as Words

Italicize words used as words, or phrases used as phrases.


“The word love has many meanings, Amber,” Rob said.

“Is that why the phrase I love you is so hard for you to say?” she retorted.






complement (noun): something that completes

“This book contains a full complement of screenwriting techniques.”


complement (verb): to complete

“That jewelry complements Kristin’s dress.”

“The two coauthors complement each other with their different abilities.”


compliment (noun): flattery or praise

“Arlene enjoyed the compliment Elaine paid her.”





myriad (adjective): innumerable

“Louise looked at the myriad stars in the sky.”


myriad (noun): a great number, or ten thousand

“They encountered a myriad of problems in their relationship.”

“She experienced myriads of difficulties getting her book published.”


NOTE: The noun usage of this word has been criticized in recent years, but Webster’s 11th claims that it is acceptable.




good night (two words, no hyphen)



About Kathy Ide

Kathy Ide, author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, has written books, articles, short stories, devotionals, play scripts, and Sunday school curriculum. She has ghostwritten ten nonfiction books and a five-book novel series. Kathy is a full-time freelance editor/proofreader/mentor for new writers, established authors, and book publishers. She speaks at writers’ conferences across the country. Kathy is the founder and director of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network ( and the Christian Editor Connection ( For more about Kathy, visit or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.

One Thought on “PUGS Pointers #27

  1. Take a look at the words ‘portable’ and ‘potable.'(

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