Friday, March 12, 2010

Copy Edit du Jour

Nurses are on hand to ensure patients stick to their treatment regimes.

Changed to "regimens."

I've never seen that mistake before. The word usually mistaken for "regimen" is "regiment."

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Granny said...

Most dictionaries I've checked include this as one of the definitions of "regime":

A regulated system, as of diet and exercise; a regimen.

I use them almost interchangeably, though I prefer "regimen" in the medical context. My doctors use both.

June Casagrande said...

Yeah, the dictionary I checked showed the same overlap.

Maybe I'm wrong to assume that the user was reaching for "regimen" and just pulled up the wrong word.

Very interesting ....

Still, in my experience, "regime" is all about the Saddam Husseins and "regimen" is all about ab crunches and flax seed oil.

June Casagrande said...

Aha. I just found the source file for my mental database. This is from the Los Angeles Times style guide: "Regime is a synonym for political system: a democratic regime, an authoritarian regime."

I guess I should be careful not to confuse a style convention with an out-and-out misuse. Thanks for calling that to my attention!

Matthew Newton said...

Thought you would appreciate the word "hot-tubbing" used several times in this article. Is that a word?

(I'm posting this here because I wasn't sure how else to send it to you.)

June Casagrande said...

Sorry it took so long to get your comment posted. I've been laid up for a few days with a cold (I think it's a cold).

Anyway, "hot-tubbing" is one of those things that writers/editors are very comfortable with even though neither "hot tub" nor "hot-tub" is listed as a verb in AP's designated dictionary (Webster's New World College Dictionary). A noun, yes. A verb, no.

Still, English is so dang flexible that we make up forms like this all the time and it's fine. I can't think of another example of how we make nouns into verbs. But examples of how we make nouns into adjectives are abundant: a paint store, for example.

Re reaching me: I have a published e-mail address,, where people sometimes write with questions. But it usually takes me weeks and weeks to even get around to reading e-mails I receive there. So posting here was a good idea.

Hope weather's improved in New York. Last I heard it was kinda icky there!


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