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April 16, 2012

Quiz Bowl: Publishing Terms

Filed under: quizzes — amastyleinsider @ 1:28 pm
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Imagine your first day of work as a new editor at a large association. Seasoned professionals are bandying around words such as blueline, bleed, and boilerplate. When they use the word dummy you think they’re talking about you. Before you pack your blue pencil and head for the door, take a deep breath and dive into this month’s AMA Manual of Style quiz on publishing terms at http://www.amamanualofstyle.com. Here is an example of what you can learn:

Which of the following terms means a drawing showing a conception of the finished product that includes sizing and positioning of the elements?
blueline
color proof
galley proof
layout

And the answer is (use your mouse to highlight the text box):

layout

According to the AMA Manual of Style, layout is “a drawing showing a conception of the finished product that includes sizing and positioning of the elements.” A blueline is “the proof sheet(s) of a book or magazine printed in blue ink that shows exactly how the pages will look when they are printed.” A color proof is “photomechanical or digital presentations of color.” A galley proof is “a proof of typeset text copy run 1 column wide before being made into a page.”

Feeling a little more armed to face that first day of work? If not, take the full Publishing Terms Quiz on the AMA Manual of Style website to master your knowledge of publishing terms.—Laura King, MA, ELS

February 28, 2012

Quiz Bowl: SI vs Conventional Units

Filed under: quizzes — amastyleinsider @ 1:51 pm
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Welcome back, quiz bowl participants. Our very first quiz bowl, which appeared on this site on May 5, 2011, dealt with format, style, and punctuation of units of measure. Now we’re back to delve even further into the intriguing and ever-changing world of units of measure style. The following is a sample of one of the questions that appears in this month’s AMA Manual of Style quiz on SI vs conventional units (http://www.amamanualofstyle.com/). Answer the question based on your understanding of section 18.5 of the AMA Manual of Style.

The mean 2-dimensional area of the largest metastasis was 7.2 sq in.

So, what do you think? This one isn’t really too hard. Here’s the answer (use your mouse to highlight the text box):

The mean 2-dimensional area of the largest metastasis was 46.8 cm2.

Measurements of length, area, volume, and mass are reported in metric units rather than English units. To convert square inches to square centimeters, multiply by 6.5 (§18.5.1, Length, Area, Volume, Mass, pp 794-795 in print).

Let’s try a more challenging question.

Admission laboratory tests revealed the following: serum creatinine, 0.9 mg/dL; serum urea nitrogen, 11 mg/dL; serum albumin, 39 g/L; and prothrombin time, 11.5 seconds.

Yes, this one is definitely harder. Here’s the answer:

Admission laboratory tests revealed the following: serum creatinine, 0.9 mg/dL (to convert to micromoles per liter, multiply by 88.4); serum urea nitrogen, 11 mg/dL (to convert to millimoles per liter, multiply by 0.357); serum albumin, 3.9 g/dL (to convert to grams per liter, multiply by 10); and prothrombin time, 11.5 seconds.

For laboratory values, factors for converting conventional units to SI units should be provided in the article. In text, the conversion factor should be given once, at first mention of the laboratory value, in parentheses following the conventional unit (§18.5.10, Laboratory Values, pp 797-816 in print). Although the AMA Manual of Style recommends writing out units of measure when no numbers are reported (eg, micromoles per liter), some journals may prefer to use abbreviations when listing SI conversion factors (eg, mmol/L).

Need some more practice? Subscribe to the AMA Manual of Style online and take the full quiz. If you’re new to the site, check out some of our other quizzes as well.—Laura King, MA, ELS

February 2, 2012

Quiz Bowl: Fill in the Blank

Filed under: quizzes — amastyleinsider @ 10:02 am
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When is a girl really a woman? When is a boy a man? When do children stop being children and become adults? Okay, we are starting to sound like a style manual version of Bob Dylan—but these answers are not blowing in the wind, they are in an AMA Manual of Style quiz on age and sex referents. Below are some simple fill in the blank exercises to guide you when you take this quiz.

Use the following terms to fill in the blanks: woman, man, newborn, adolescent, and infant. (To see the answers, highlight the blank space with your mouse.)

A person from birth to 1 month of age is a(n) newborn.

A female person older than 18 years is a(n) woman.

A male person older than 18 years is a(n) man.

A person aged 1 month to 1 year is a(n) infant.

A person aged 13 through 17 years is a(n) adolescent.

For additional exercises on age and sex referent usage in medical publications, take this month’s quiz at www.amamanualofstyle.com.—Laura King, MA, ELS

August 11, 2011

Quiz Bowl: It’s All Greek to Me!

Filed under: quizzes — amastyleinsider @ 8:40 am
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Is it interferon-gamma or interferon-γ? Do we use kappa or κ free light chain? I don’t know—it’s all Greek to me! If you’re like me, you struggle with whether to use Greek words or letters.  Test your knowledge on the usage of Greek letters vs words by selecting which italicized term is correct in the following sentence. For further explanation of the correct answer, refer to chapter 17 (pp 781-783 in print). Then check out this month’s quiz, which subscribers can find at http://www.amamanualofstyle.com/ for more questions.

An elevated serum alpha-fetoprotein or α-fetoprotein level before orthotopic liver transplantation is predictive of mortality after orthotopic liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma.

So, what do you think? Would you use alpha-fetoprotein or α-fetoprotein? Here’s the answer (use your mouse to highlight the text box):

An elevated serum α-fetoprotein level before orthotopic liver transplantation is predictive of mortality after orthotopic liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma.

The AMA Manual of Style recommends the use of Greek letters rather than spelled-out words, unless usage dictates otherwise. Consult Dorland’s and Stedman’s medical dictionaries for general terms. These sources may differ in the representation of terms, ie, α-fetoprotein (Stedman’s) and alpha fetoprotein (Dorland’s). If the Greek letter, rather than the word, is found in either of these sources for the item in question, use the letter in preference to the word (§17.1, Greek Letter vs Word, p 781 in print).

If you want to learn more about usage of Greek letters vs words, take the full quiz on the AMA Manual of Style online—Laura King, MA, ELS

July 22, 2011

Quiz Bowl: Statistical Terms

Filed under: quizzes,statistics — amastyleinsider @ 2:33 pm
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What’s the difference between an α level and a β level? Do you know your y-axis from your x-axis from your z-axis? What term means the spread or dispersion of data? This month’s quiz, which subscribers can find at http://www.amamanualofstyle.com/, can help you learn the answers to these and other questions on statistical terms. On the basis of your understanding of section 20.9 of the AMA Manual of Style, select the correct answer from the choices listed in the following sample quiz question.

Which of the following terms means the correlation coefficient for bivariate analysis?
r
R
r2
R2

So, how did you do? Here’s the answer (use your mouse to highlight the blank line):

Which of the following terms means the correlation coefficient for bivariate analysis?
r

R is the correlation coefficient for multivariate analysis. r2 is the coefficient of determination for bivariate analysis. R2 is the coefficient to determination for multivariate analysis.

If you want to further test your knowledge of statistical terms, subscribe to the AMA Manual of Style online and take the full quiz. Stay tuned next month for another edition of Quiz Bowl.—Laura King, MA, ELS

June 15, 2011

Quiz Bowl: Plurals

Filed under: editing process,quizzes,usage — amastyleinsider @ 2:02 pm
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It’s time for our second Quiz Bowl! This month’s quiz, which subscribers can find at http://www.amamanualofstyle.com/, examines the use of plurals. Test your knowledge by correcting the error in the following sample question based on your understanding of chapter 9 of the AMA Manual of Style.

Sera from 100 infants in the study were collected at birth.

Okay, time’s up. Did you identify the error? Here’s the answer (use your mouse to highlight the text box):

Serum samples from 100 infants in the study were collected at birth.

Beware of “pluralizing” nouns that cannot stand on their own as plurals (eg, use serum samples not sera and urine tests not urines) (§9.7, When Not to Use Plurals, p 369 in print).

If you want to learn more about how to edit plural words, subscribe to the AMA Manual of Style online and take the full quiz. Stay tuned next month for another edition of Quiz Bowl.—Laura King, MA, ELS

May 5, 2011

Quiz Bowl: Units of Measure

Filed under: editing process,punctuation,quizzes,usage — amastyleinsider @ 11:10 am
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Welcome, participants, to the AMA Manual of Style Quiz Bowl. Every month at http://www.amamanualofstyle.com/, we offer subscribers a quiz on different aspects of the manual that help participants master AMA style and improve their editing skills. Previous quizzes have covered topics as varied as correct and preferred usage, genetics, tables, figures, and ethics, as well as numerous other subjects. In this blog, we will offer a sample question from each month’s quiz to whet your appetite. This month’s quiz is on Units of Measure: Format, Style, and Punctuation. So, here goes.

Edit the following sentence based on your understanding of section 18.3 of the AMA Manual of Style.

A total of 50 mg of etanercept were administered subcutaneously twice weekly for 12 weeks.

Well, how did you do? Did you identify the problem? Here’s the answer (use your mouse to highlight the text box):

A total of 50 mg of etanercept was administered subcutaneously twice weekly for 12 weeks.

Units of measure are treated as collective singular (not plural) nouns and require a singular verb (§18.3.3, Subject-Verb Agreement, p 791 in print).

So, did you enjoy this tidbit? If you are not sated, subscribe to the AMA Manual of Style online and take the full quiz.—Laura King, MA, ELS

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