Laura Moyer is a compulsive copy editor who reads the AP Stylebook for fun.
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(Almost) all over but the voting

I’ve got election fatigue. Maybe you do, too.

I’m ready for this political season to be over, but I will miss some of its goofs and glitches.

Each of the major presidential campaigns has made a prominent flub that went viral on social media.

America spelled “Amercia” comes to mind. So does the decision to punctuate the slogan “Forward” with a period. Forward, stop!

News stories, letters to the editor, blog postings and tweets about the election are full of word misuses.

One that comes up often is “canvas,” like the cloth, for “canvass,” to solicit votes.

Another is “infer” for “imply”: “The ad infers that [Candidate X] will be bad for small businesses.” No, the ad implies that. The voter is supposed to infer it.

And what’s with “reticent”? A candidate is described as “reticent to release details of his plan.”

“Reticent” means uncommunicative or “having a restrained, quiet or understated quality.” That doesn’t describe any political candidate, ever. Make it “reluctant.”

I edited a story that explained the rules of a debate: “After each candidate speaks, opponents will be given 90 seconds to rebuke.” Oh, how I was tempted to leave it that way. But I changed it to “rebut.”

Online, where passionate conviction abounds but copy editing is scarce, a writer explained her objection to a social issue: “It is in opposition to what is abhorrent to God.”


I understand the confusion, though. After months of political blather, whose mind isn’t boggled?