the return of the eggcorn

eggcornWiktionary’s word of the day today, March 19, 2014, is the same as it was on this day last year:

vaguery

Not vaguary, but vaguery. The latter is apparently an “eggcorn” of the former.

For an explanation of all three terms — vaguary, vaguery, and eggcorn — see my blog post from last year:

the vagaries of eggcorns

The latest from InvisibleOrder.com: Are We Good Enough for Liberty?

Over on InvisibleOrder.com/blog, Mike Reid announces the latest ebook from IO:

20130918_AreWeGoodEnoughforLibertyCoverWe’re delighted to reveal the ebook version of Lawrence Reed’s new Are We Good Enough for Liberty?

Download the MOBI ebook (for Kindle)
Download the EPUB ebook (for everything else)

Lawrence Reed is of course the president of the Foundation for Economic Education, the author of innumerable articles, and a very prominent speaker for radio, TV, and conferences around the world.

This beautiful book includes, not only Dr. Reed’s own writing on character and liberty, but also the famous “I, Pencil,” by Leonard Read, the founder of FEE.

It’s available for free in ebook form here, and in PDF and print form here.

Capitalism and Spirituality

DollarSunriseOne advantage a libertarian author has when working with Invisible Order is that we in the Order are well read in the relevant literature and have worked extensively with both scholarly and popular texts.

For example, one writer recently asked us what Ludwig von Mises would have to say about a passage he had found online:

Schelling recognized that genuine democracy is only possible given a citizenry aware of the cosmological, anthropological, and theological complexities of authentic freedom. Without a philosophical culture capable of sustaining inquiry into the cosmic and spiritual depths of human nature, the equality rightly demanded by democratic societies can only devolve into the leveling homogenization of consumer capitalism, where freedom is reduced to the ability to identify with the corporate brand of one’s choice. The trivialization and inversion of freedom inherent to “democratic” capitalism makes human beings forgetful of their divine-cosmic ground, functioning not only to alienate individuals from their communities, but humanity from earth.

Here is my reply:

Read more of this post

the real Lincoln in his own words

Just posted at the Invisible Order blog:

Lincoln-Uncensored-CoverThomas DiLorenzo writes today in LewRockwell.com about an “important new, must-read book,” a “great work of scholarship,” which will help Americans to wean themselves off the propaganda from “politically-correct, heavily state-censored textbooks or movies made by communistic-minded Hollywood hedonists.”

What is this book that brings such high praise?

Why, it’s Lincoln Uncensored of course, by Joseph E. Fallon. (Buy it now, complete with a new preface by Jeffrey Tucker, on Amazon.com.)

Here’s more of what DiLorenzo has to say about it:

I was taught in public elementary school in Pennsylvania that Abe was so honest that he once walked six miles to return a penny to a merchant who undercharged him (and six miles back home). He was supposedly so tendered hearted that he cried after witnessing the death of a turkey. He suffered in silence his entire life after witnessing slavery as a teenager.…

The real Lincoln was a dictator and a tyrant who shredded the Constitution, fiendishly orchestrated the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens, and did it all for the economic benefit of the special interests who funded the Republican Party (and his own political career). But don’t take Joseph Fallon’s or Thomas DiLorenzo’s word for it. Read the words of Abe Lincoln himself. That is what Fallon allows everyone to do in his great work of scholarship, Lincoln Uncensored.

We’re prouder than ever to be the producers of Joseph Fallon’s great ebook. Buy it now.

4 versions of Bourbon for Breakfast!

The beloved missus just posted this at InvisibleOrder.com:

9781621290759_frontcoverInvisible Order is pleased and honored to have been involved in the production of all four versions of LFB’s new edition of Jeffrey A. Tucker’s Bourbon for Breakfast.

Four versions, you say?

Yes, four versions! This great collection of essays is available not only in a paperback edition but also as an eBook, a multimedia eBook (with videos of the author), and an audiobook narrated by Steven Ng.

And all four versions are in the top-five LFB bestsellers!

Invisible Order worked on all three text versions (eBook, paper, and multimedia) and also helped produce Steven Ng’s audio version (using our “editing” ears instead of pens).

how to spot a zombie quote

ZombieQuoteKingGeorgeOver on the Invisible Order blog, Mike Reid explains how to spot fraudulent quotations:

It’s not a real quote. It is lifeless, a dead abomination mindlessly stumbling across the Web. It is a zombie quote.…

Now, if you’re a brilliant constitutional historian like Tom Woods, you can probably recognize fake quotes from Founding Fathers a mile off. But what if you’re just ordinary writer, or what if you’re an editor or a publisher overseeing dozens of writers on dozens of different topics? How can you tell the zombie quotes from the real things?

the power of the comma

Lets eat[,] Grandma.Reuters editor, Tony Tharakan, sneaks a spurious comma into his post on how a comma allowed a Malaysian airline to sneak into the protectionist Indian market (h/t Grammar Girl).

He invites readers to identify his spurious punctuation mark.

Very clever.

I think I’ll follow his lead and invite you to find the (not one but) two (yes, 2!) false commas in this very post.

(Hint: they’re more than unnecessary; they change the meaning of what I’ve written to imply something that is false.)

(Crossposted at InvisibleOrder.com.)

What is a style sheet?

DigitalChicagoIn the world of digital publishing, style sheet is an ambiguous term.

It originated in the print-publishing industry. A style guide (or stylebook) is a book that lists the important rules of capitalization, punctuation, some basic grammar, some spelling issues, and the syntax of citations in footnotes and endnotes. At Invisible Order, our standard style guide is The Chicago Manual of Style. Other style guides you may have used or at least heard of include the Associated Press (AP) stylebook, the guide for the Modern Language Association (MLA) — even the venerable Strunk & White probably counts.

But there are various reasons a particular publication or company may want to diverge from the rules given in a style guide, while still wanting to remain consistent. If so, they maintain a document for their "house style." To avoid confusion, in IO we call this our house style guide, but the common term from the print world is "style sheet." As the name implies, it was not supposed to be longer than a single sheet of paper. It doesn’t have to be a list of differences from the main style guide; it can also be a list of the most important rules from the main style guide. You can see ours here.

Why would it cause confusion to use the term the way the print world does? Because at Invisible Order, we do both editorial and technological work. And on the technological side, "style sheet" means CSS (i.e., "cascading style sheets"): instructions to a web browser or ebook reader for the visual presentation of text and images.

I’ve worked on teams where someone would say "style sheet," and everyone thought they knew what the term meant, but the coders thought it referred to typeface, character size, and layout, while the writers and copyeditors thought it referred to commas, semicolons, and compound adjectives.

Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid the ambiguity. On the editorial side, we use the term "style guide" to cover both the Chicago Manual and our house style. We use "CSS" to be unambiguous on the tech side. And when someone talks about a style sheet, I smile and nod and look for an opportunity to make sure I know which kind they’re talking about.

(Crossposted at InvisibleOrder.com.)