“ex-” or “former”?

When referring to a person who has completed something, whether it be a job, political office, or marriage/relationship should you use the term “ex-” or “former”?

This is a pet peeve of mine, as I often hear people use “ex” when they should use “former”. Usually, “ex-“, which is a prefix, is used if the person left the position in question under less than stellar conditions. For example, if a politician has been forced to leave office before the end of his or her term because of some shady or illegal dealings, it would be correct to call that person the “ex-mayor” or “ex-congressman”, etc. Usually, the end of a marriage or relationship is not on such good terms, which is why the person is called your “ex-“.

However, if the person’s tenure is just over, then the proper term should be “former”. “Former” just says that the term or condition is over, period. The situation ended because it was supposed to, not because of any negative circumstances.

Many people use “ex-” and “former” interchangeably; but there really is a difference.

Contact the writing and editing specialists at Writing It Right For You if you have any questions about the correct grammar for your project. We’ll be glad to help!

Monday Musings: Which should come first work or workout?

Writing It Right For YouIt is not quite 9:30am and already I have finalized a project, answered all of my emails and responded to a request via my website for two prospective projects. I am an early riser and a definitely a morning person. Many people say you should workout first thing and have it done for the day, but as soon as I get up, I like to get started at my desk.

I have been trying to decide whether to do my workout first thing in the morning and then start my workday, but I think I’ll work first and then do my workout. Otherwise, pending work is on my mind. I think I’ll like it better when I can get the work done and then have a clear mind for the remainder of the day.