You asked and we listened! This month’s style quiz once again gives users the chance to practice their editing skills in a more in-depth manner. Previous quizzes on prose editing, as well as editing figures and tables, aimed to fill this need, but you still want more. So, here you go.
This month’s quiz is a full paragraph that requires editing to eliminate usage and style errors. Below is the first sentence of the paragraph. See if you can identify the problems.
We report a young patient who presented with dysphagia caused by a right aortic arch, aberrant left subclavian artery, and associated Kommerell’s diverticulum.
Highlight for answer: We describe a young patient who presented with dysphagia caused by a right aortic arch, aberrant left subclavian artery, and associated Kommerell diverticulum.
According to the AMA Manual of Style, both patients and cases are described; only cases are reported (§11.1, Correct and Preferred Usage of Common Words and Phrases, pp 381-405 in print). In addition, the nonpossessive form should be used for eponymous terms (§16.2, Nonpossessive Form, pp 778-780 in print).
If you’re interested in more practice, check out the full quiz, as well as the Prose Editing 1, Practice Editing Tables, and Figures quizzes, on the AMA Manual of Style website.
And if there are any other quizzes you want to see, just ask. We promise we’ll listen.—Laura King, MA, ELS