The Wicked Which and Other Fairy Tales

by Andrea Wenger
Andrea Wenger ( is the Membership Manager, Technical Editing SIG. Note: This article originally appeared in the Carolina Communique, the newsletter of the STC Carolina Chapter.

Popular culture is filled with myths about grammar. Taught by generations of English teachers, these stories admonish little children to cling to the straight and narrow path, rather than venturing into the woods of creative communication. Some of these stories are usage guidelines rather than rules. Others are pure fantasy, the flight of some pedagogue’s imagination. Read the rest of this entry »


The Technical Stylist on the Battle of the Usage Guides

by Kathy Underwood
Kathy Underwood is an editor in the Technical Editing Department at SAS Institute Inc. She serves as lead for the SAS Style Guide, co-lead for writer and editor training, and a member of the Terminology Team. Before coming to SAS, Kathy worked as a publications manager, writer, and editor. She taught technical writing at the University of Washington (in what is now the Human Centered Design & Engineering Department) for seven years. And she served for five years on the international Board of Directors of STC.

In the Technical Editing Department at SAS Institute Inc. (a worldwide software company), one of the questions we often get from around the company staffers is about which is the best grammar and usage guide. We do have a standard list of style references, which includes the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition), the Microsoft Manual of Style (3rd edition now—4th edition coming in January), the Global English Style Guide (by our own staffer, John Kohl), and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th Edition). Read the rest of this entry »