Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Is it "differ from" or "differ with?"

I have almost been in school for a week in my new classes, and already I am feeling the grind. Fortunately, I think the stress level should be lower this semester than it was last semester. If it isn't, I may just have to kill myself. (I mean kill myself in some quick and painless way, such as by placing my neck under a guillotine. Please, let me know if you know where one is...)

Seriously, though. My classes are demanding. I spent hours "scanning" a section in the Chicago Manual of Style for my Professional Editing class. It was a word usage section that quibbles with serious writing issues, such as when to use "differ from" and when to use "differ with." I am glad we're not actually expected to memorize all 39 pages. It is supposed to be the Bible of editing reference material. I've been considering editorial work as one of my possible future careers, and this class may determine whether or not I actually want to do that line of work.

(Here I should offer a disclaimer... I always try to catch errors in my blog posts, but some of them slide through. I have sometimes gone back to correct previous posts when I found errors later. Maybe after spending a semester doing hardcore editing, I will be better at editing my own writing. Until then, I'm not sure the quality is going to improve much. I will never been offended if people point out usage errors to me in the comments.)

I have some time right now, and if I can, I will post a few silly pictures. We'll see if the pictures will successfully download.