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Business Writing: <body class="layout-three-column"> <div id="container"> <div id="container-inner" class="pkg"> <!-- banner - rev2 --> <div id="banner"> <div id="banner-inner" class="pkg"> <h1 id="banner-header"><a href="http://www.syntaxtraining.com" accesskey="1">Business Writing</a></h1> <h2 id="banner-description"></h2> </div> </div> <div id="pagebody"> <div id="pagebody-inner" class="pkg"> <div id="alpha"> <div id="alpha-inner" class="pkg"> <!-- sidebar1 --> <!-- user photo --> <table border="0" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" id="about"> <tr> <td valign="top" class="photo"><a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/about.html"><img src="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/.a/6a00d8341c02a553ef01a3fa91debe970b-pi" alt="Lynn Gaertner-Johnston" border="0" title="Lynn Gaertner-Johnston"/></a></td> <td width="80" valign="top"><ul class="aboutus"> <li><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com/">Visit Lynn's Website</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/about.html">About Lynn</a></li> <li><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com/contact_us.html">Contact Lynn</a></li> </ul> <strong>Subscribe</strong> <ul class="subscriber"> <li class="email"><a href="http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/emailverifySubmit?feedId=2863746&loc=en_US" title="Receive a link to the latest post in your inbox.">Email</a></li> <li class="rss"><a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/businesswritingblog/BwB09" title="Receive the latest post to your favorite newsreader or Outlook.">RSS</a></li> </ul> </td> </tr> </table> <!-- about page link --> <div id="syntax_training" class="module-typelist module"> <h2 class="module-header">Syntax Training</h2> <div class="module-content"> <ul class="module-list"> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Read about upcoming public classes, both online and in person. "href="http://syntaxtraining.com/upcomingclasses.html">Business Writing Classes Coming Up </a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Get tips and monthly e-newsletter. "href="http://www.syntaxtraining.com/signup.html">Email Tips: 25 Tips for Email Etiquette</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="The main article of the current issue is titled "Take Control of Your Jargon.""href="http://www.syntaxtraining.com/signup.html">Free Monthly Ezine on Business Writing</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Visit Lynn's website for more articles on business writing."href="http://syntaxtraining.com/articles.html">Lynn's Articles on Writing </a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title=""href="http://syntaxtraining.com/heart.html">"Business Writing With Heart": Lynn's New Book</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Lynn talks about "Business Writing With Heart""href="http://youtu.be/VXsKN3YeKdY">YouTube Book Interview</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title=""href="http://www.syntaxtraining.com">Visit Lynn's Website</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> <div id="writing_resources" class="module-typelist module"> <h2 class="module-header">Writing Resources</h2> <div class="module-content"> <ul class="module-list"> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Fine blog on writing, marketing, and business"href="http://badlanguage.net">Bad Language</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Lynn's picks for best books"href="http://www.syntaxtraining.com/recommended_books.html">Business Writing Books</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Tips from Syntax Training"href="http://www.syntaxtraining.com/business_writing_tips.html">Business Writing Tips</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Q&A on questions of style and consistency"href="http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/CMS_FAQ/new/new_questions01.html">Chicago Manual of Style</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Useful statistics on Internet use and traffic"href="http://www.clickz.com/stats">ClickZ Stats Toolbox</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Hundreds of errors listed alphabetically"href="http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/index.html">Common Errors in English</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Review 440 lessons in grammar and punctuation in the archives"href="http://www.dailygrammar.com">Daily Grammar</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Photos to inspire and stretch"href="http://dailywalks.com/">Daily Walks | Diane Varner</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Thought-provoking pieces on marketing "href="http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/weblog.php">Duct Tape Marketing Blog</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="With 150 excellent interactive quizzes"href="http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/">Guide to Grammar and Writing</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Over 1000 interactive quizzes at varying levels of difficulty"href="http://a4esl.org">Interactive ESL Quizzes</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Games and exercises for everyone, including native English speakers"href="http://www.manythings.org">Interesting Things for ESL/EFL Students</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Resources for lawyers who write"href="http://raymondpward.typepad.com/newlegalwriter/">Legal Writer</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="In celebration of punctuation"href="http://www.nationalpunctuationday.com">National Punctuation Day</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Get results from as many as 18 dictionaries"href="http://www.onelook.com">OneLook Dictionary Search</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Join the fight for clear writing"href="http://www.plainenglish.co.uk">Plain English Campaign</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Proofreading symbols listed and illustrated"href="http://www.journalismcareers.com/articles/proofreadingsymbols.shtml">Proofreading Symbols</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Explore the site for MLA & APA Style guidance, rules, exercises, and presentations "href="http://owl.english.purdue.edu/">Purdue's Writing Lab</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Test your spelling at five levels of difficulty"href="http://eslus.com/LESSONS/SPELL/SPELL.HTM">Spelling Tests</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Words spelled differently in British, Canadian, and American English"href="http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/BritishCanadianAmerican.htm">Spelling: British, Canadian, American</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Syntax Training (Lynn's company) website"href="http://www.syntaxtraining.com">Syntax Training</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="A test on which Lynn got 3 wrong! "href="http://books.guardian.co.uk/quiz/questions/0,5957,1303707,00.html">Tough Spelling Test</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Take a free typing test. Available in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, and Finnish. "href="http://www.typingtest.com">TypingTest.com </a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="Words with different meanings in British, Canadian, and American English"href="http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/britishcanadianamericanvocab.html">Vocabulary: British, Canadian, American</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="A list that allows you to search by misspellings--not correct spellings"href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:List_of_common_misspellings">Wikipedia: List of Common Misspellings </a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="New words defined, a great resource"href="http://www.wordspy.com">Word Spy</a></li> <li class="module-list-item"><a title="A search engine to hundreds of online dictionaries, and much more"href="http://www.yourdictionary.com">YourDictionary.com</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div id="beta"> <div id="beta-inner" class="pkg"> <div id="sharethis" style="text-align:right;"> <span class='st_twitter' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_facebook' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_linkedin' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_pinterest' displayText='Pinterest'></span> <span class='st_sharethis' displayText='ShareThis'></span> <span class='st_email' displayText='Email'></span> </div> <script type="text/javascript"> window.ZemantaBlogSettings = ""; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://content.zemanta.com/static/typepad/js/recommend.js"></script> <!-- entries --> <h2 class="date-header">August 22, 2014</h2> <div class="entry-author-lynn_gaertnerjohnston entry-type-post entry" id="entry-6a00d8341c02a553ef01a73e06be8f970d"> <div class="entry-inner"> <h3 class="entry-header"><a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/offices-closed-until-monday-sept-8.html">Offices Closed for Vacation</a></h3> <div class="entry-content"> <input type="hidden" name="zemanta-related" val="" /> <div class="entry-body"> <p>We are traveling in beautiful Italy: Venice, Varenna, Milan, Cinque Terre, Florence, Assisi, and Rome. Although our offices are closed, you may register for <a href="http://syntaxtraining.com/upcomingclasses.html" target="_self" title="Learn about upcoming classes">classes</a> and purchase Syntax Training <a href="http://syntaxtraining.com/our_products.html" target="_self" title="Writing resources ">materials</a>. Our virtual assistant will be happy to send out class confirmations and products. </p> <p>Ciao! </p> <p><em><span style="color: #0000bf;">Lynn</span></em><br /><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com" target="_self" title="Visit our company website">Syntax Training</a></p> </div> <!-- SIGNATURE --> </div> <div class="entry-footer"> <p class="entry-footer-info"> <span class="post-footers">August 22, 2014 </span> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="permalink" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/offices-closed-until-monday-sept-8.html">Permalink</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-comments" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/offices-closed-until-monday-sept-8.html#comments">Comments (3)</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-trackbacks" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/offices-closed-until-monday-sept-8.html#trackback">TrackBack (0)</a> </p> <!-- technorati tags --> <!-- post footer links --> </div> </div> </div> <h2 class="date-header">August 21, 2014</h2> <div class="entry-category-grammar_and_usage entry-author-lynn_gaertnerjohnston entry-type-post entry" id="entry-6a00d8341c02a553ef01b7c6d07938970b"> <div class="entry-inner"> <h3 class="entry-header"><a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/do-i-feel-bad-or-badly-.html">Do I Feel Bad or Badly? </a></h3> <div class="entry-content"> <input type="hidden" name="zemanta-related" val="" /> <div class="entry-body"> <p>The other day a subscriber to my free monthly newsletter, <em><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com" target="_self" title="Subscribe here">Better Writing at Work</a>, </em>wondered whether this month's "Error Quest" paragraph had two errors rather than one. Donna wrote:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Isn't there another error in the paragraph? What about "I feel bad"? Shouldn't it be "badly"? (I feel HOW? badly---an adverb.)</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Maybe I am wrong, but that is how I taught it in my English classes.</p> <p>Here is the sentence that made Donna wonder: "I feel bad about how the feedback was handled." </p> <p>Would you use <em>bad</em> or <em>badly</em>? </p> <p>I just checked to be sure the experts still agree with my view. <em>Garner's Modern American Usage, Fowler's Modern English Usage, </em>and <em>The Gregg Reference Manual </em>all agree: I feel bad--not badly.</p> <p>Yes, "I feel bad about how the feedback was handled" is correct.</p> <p><em>Feel</em> in this instance is a linking (state of being) verb rather than an action verb. That is why it does not take the adverb form. <em>Bad</em> is correct with <em>feel</em> just as it is with these linking verbs:</p> <ul> <li>I look bad.</li> <li>I smell bad.</li> <li>I sound bad.</li> <li>I seem bad.</li> </ul> <p>If it helps, think of "I feel bad" the same way you think of the expressions below. We don't use the adverb forms w<em>onderfully, happily, proudly,</em> or <em>sadly</em> in these instances:</p> <ul> <li>I feel wonderful.</li> <li>I feel happy.</li> <li>I feel proud.</li> <li>I feel sad.</li> </ul> <p><em>Badly</em> is correct with action verbs:</p> <ul> <li>I sing badly.</li> <li>I write badly. </li> <li>I play tennis badly. </li> <li>I lie badly. </li> </ul> <p>Of the many reference books in my office, the only one that supports "feel badly" is <em>The American Heritage College Dictionary. </em>It states:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">This usage ["feel badly"] is now widespread and is supported by analogy to the use of other adverbs with <em>feel </em>(as in <em>We feel strongly about this issue</em>). In an earlier survey a majority of the Usage Panel accepted this use of <em>badly </em>in speech, though <em>bad </em>is less likely to occasion objections.</p> <p>I will stick with "feel bad" although I would much rather feel good, great, terrific, and beautiful. Notice that they are all adjective forms. </p> <p>For more on <em>bad/badly, </em>read my 2006 blog post <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2006/02/bad_or_badly.html" target="_self" title="Read the blog post">Bad or Badly?</a></p> <p>I hope you are feeling great!</p> <p><em><span style="color: #0000bf;">Lynn<br /></span></em><span style="color: #111111;"><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com" target="_self" title="Visit our company website">Syntax Training </a></span> </p> </div> <!-- SIGNATURE --> </div> <div class="entry-footer"> <p class="entry-footer-info"> <span class="post-footers">August 21, 2014 in <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/grammar_and_usage/">Grammar and Usage</a> </span> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="permalink" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/do-i-feel-bad-or-badly-.html">Permalink</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-comments" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/do-i-feel-bad-or-badly-.html#comments">Comments (2)</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-trackbacks" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/do-i-feel-bad-or-badly-.html#trackback">TrackBack (0)</a> </p> <!-- technorati tags --> <!-- post footer links --> </div> </div> </div> <h2 class="date-header">August 19, 2014</h2> <div class="entry-category-how_to_write_____ entry-category-meeting_notes_and_minutes entry-author-lynn_gaertnerjohnston entry-type-post entry" id="entry-6a00d8341c02a553ef01a511f98815970c"> <div class="entry-inner"> <h3 class="entry-header"><a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/want-better-meetings-create-better-agendas.html">Want Better Meetings? Create Better Agendas!</a></h3> <div class="entry-content"> <input type="hidden" name="zemanta-related" val="" /> <div class="entry-body"> <p>Great meetings start with great agendas. These tips will help you write agendas that keep meetings on track. (This month's <em><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com/signup.html" target="_self" title="Subscribe to "Better Writing at Work"">Better Writing at Work</a> </em>includes the full article with more examples.)<em><br /></em></p> <p><strong>1.</strong> <strong>Start the agenda with the name of the meeting.</strong> For a regularly scheduled meeting, the name may be as simple as "Quarterly Business Meeting." For an ad hoc meeting (that is, one created for a specific purpose), work the purpose into the meeting name, for example, "Retreat Planning Meeting." </p> <p><strong>2. Include the location, start time, and end time</strong> of the meeting at the top of the agenda. </p> <p><strong>3. Give the name of the meeting leader and his or her contact information, </strong>unless the name and information are obvious. Invitees may have questions or concerns about the meeting.</p> <p><strong>4. Include the list of invitees by name or by category </strong>unless the list is obvious. (For instance, everyone on the team would be invited to the team meeting.) The list of invitees helps people understand the focus of the meeting and the reason they are invited. </p> <p><strong>5. List each agenda item, </strong>using language that describes what you want to happen. For example: </p> <p>--Approval of meeting agenda.</p> <p>--Presentation of security policy updates.</p> <p>--Announcement and Q&A on new sales goals.</p> <p>If the list above were simply "meeting agenda," "security policy updates," and "new sales goals," the respective approval, presentation, and announcement could be derailed by unwanted, lengthy discussion. Only if you want discussion should you include that word. </p> <p><strong>6. State a time allotted for each agenda item</strong> unless you have only one main item such as "Discuss and vote on the draft budget." Without time allotments, one agenda item can dominate a meeting, leaving you with little authority to end the discussion. </p> <p><strong>7. Include the names of individuals who will present or facilitate each agenda item, </strong>and get written agreement or confirmation from them. At too many meetings, someone announces, "I didn't know I was supposed to present this topic," then fumbles ahead. </p> <p><strong>8. Include the expected outcome for each agenda item,</strong> unless it is already included in the name of the item. For example, if the agenda item is "Vote on new officers," the outcome, of course, is the vote. Think of the outcome as the result or goal for the discussion, presentation, etc. Examples: </p> <p>--Item: Discuss and decide on potential panelists. <br />--Outcome: List of 3 to 5 potential panelists to invite.</p> <p>--Item: Discussion of audit milestones and their timing. <br /> --Outcome: Agreement on milestone schedule.</p> <p>Outcomes lead to a feeling of accomplishment: When attendees have reached the outcome, they can happily move on to the next agenda item. And outcomes help keep meetings on track. </p> <p><strong>9. For each agenda item, highlight any preparation that is required or requested.</strong> For example, if an item is "Choose a retreat facilitator," meeting attendees should bring information about any facilitators they want to recommend.</p> <p><strong>10. If attendees must read any reports in advance,</strong> be sure to emphasize and attach or link to the reports. Give at least 48 hours to read them. Do not expect people to read reports just hours--or minutes!--before a meeting.</p> <p><strong>If you are not the meeting leader or planner, insist on an agenda if your role allows you to do so.</strong> Write something like this: "Before I commit to the meeting, may I please see the agenda? I need to determine whether I have something to contribute." Some smart companies have this rule: No agenda, no meeting. </p> <p>If you would like to produce better meeting notes and minutes, take our class <a href="http://syntaxtraining.com/PDF/Meeting_Notes_Made_Easy_Sept_12_2014.pdf" title="Learn about the class">Meeting Notes Made Easy</a> on September 12. </p> <p>Do you have tips on creating better meeting agendas? Please share them.</p> <p><em><span style="color: #0000bf;">Lynn</span></em><br /><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com" target="_self" title="Visit our company website">Syntax Training</a></p> </div> <!-- SIGNATURE --> </div> <div class="entry-footer"> <p class="entry-footer-info"> <span class="post-footers">August 19, 2014 in <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/how_to_write_____/">How to Write ____</a>, <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/meeting-notes-and-minutes/">Meeting Notes and Minutes</a> </span> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="permalink" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/want-better-meetings-create-better-agendas.html">Permalink</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-comments" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/want-better-meetings-create-better-agendas.html#comments">Comments (0)</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-trackbacks" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/want-better-meetings-create-better-agendas.html#trackback">TrackBack (0)</a> </p> <!-- technorati tags --> <!-- post footer links --> </div> </div> </div> <h2 class="date-header">August 13, 2014</h2> <div class="entry-category-best_picks_ entry-category-email entry-author-lynn_gaertnerjohnston entry-type-post entry" id="entry-6a00d8341c02a553ef01b7c6cb9a96970b"> <div class="entry-inner"> <h3 class="entry-header"><a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/renewal-notices-can-be-friendly.html">Renewal Notices Can Be Friendly</a></h3> <div class="entry-content"> <input type="hidden" name="zemanta-related" val="" /> <div class="entry-body"> <p>The other day we received a renewal notice from our web hosting service, IX Web Hosting. I want to share it with you as an example of a friendly, helpful renewal notice. </p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Subject: Renewal Notice for Unlimited Pro</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Hey Lynn,</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">How's everything going? Can you believe another 2 years have gone by?</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Well, we wanted to let you know that your hosting account is up for renewal, and we'll be automatically renewing it in 14 days, so you don't even need to worry about it.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">However, you might want to log in to your account (https://my.ixwebhosting.com) and make sure your domains are set up for renewal as well. Since domain registrations are separate from your hosting account, they have to be renewed separately.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Here's your account info:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Product ID: XXX<br />Product Name: Unlimited Pro<br />Renewal: Automatic<br />Expiration Date: Aug-24-2014<br />(today's date is Aug-10-2014)</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Billing Term: Biennial<br />Amount: US $XXX.XX</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">And remember, we're open 24/7 so you can always let us know if you have any questions: <br />https://my.ixwebhosting.com/tickets/new</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Good luck with your websites!</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Kind regards,<br />---------------------------------------<br />Your Team at IX Web Hosting<br />https://www.ixwebhosting.com</p> <p> </p> <p>IX Web Hosting succeeds at sending automated messages that come across as personal and helpful. I appreciate the range of information: the renewal date, fee, billing term, reminder to check on domain registrations, the name of our service level, and the reminder about 24/7 help available. </p> <p>Other service providers could learn from IX Web Hosting's approach. I am thinking of companies that process renewals automatically, without letting customers know essential details such as the renewal date and fee. Have you ever noticed a debit from your bank account and not recognized what it was? It's happened to us at Syntax Training--but never with IX Web Hosting. </p> <p>What do you think about this renewal notice? How does it compare with ones you receive?</p> <p><em><span style="color: #0000bf;">Lynn</span></em><br /><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com" target="_self" title="Learn more about our classes and products">Syntax Training</a></p> <p>P.S. I have no financial relationship with IX Web Hosting beyond being a satisfied customer. </p> </div> <!-- SIGNATURE --> </div> <div class="entry-footer"> <p class="entry-footer-info"> <span class="post-footers">August 13, 2014 in <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/best_picks/">Best Picks </a>, <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/email/">Email</a> </span> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="permalink" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/renewal-notices-can-be-friendly.html">Permalink</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-comments" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/renewal-notices-can-be-friendly.html#comments">Comments (6)</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-trackbacks" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/renewal-notices-can-be-friendly.html#trackback">TrackBack (0)</a> </p> <!-- technorati tags --> <!-- post footer links --> </div> </div> </div> <h2 class="date-header">August 07, 2014</h2> <div class="entry-category-grammar_and_usage entry-category-proofreading entry-author-lynn_gaertnerjohnston entry-type-post entry" id="entry-6a00d8341c02a553ef01a3fd4252ad970b"> <div class="entry-inner"> <h3 class="entry-header"><a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/test-yourself-if-or-whether-.html">Test Yourself: If or Whether </a></h3> <div class="entry-content"> <input type="hidden" name="zemanta-related" val="" /> <div class="entry-body"> <p>Which word, <em>if </em>or <em>whether, </em>is correct in each of these sentences? </p> <ol> <li>I am not sure <strong>if/whether</strong> I need management approval for this purchase. </li> <li>Let me know i<strong>f/whether</strong> you plan to ride with us, and I will pick you up.  </li> <li>The lunch will take place under the tent <strong>if/whether</strong> it rains. </li> <li>Rochelle asked <strong>if/whether</strong> we will offer this promotion again. </li> <li>You may not be able to print your document <strong>if/whether</strong> you move out of range of our Wi-Fi. </li> </ol> <p>We may not agree on the answers. That might be because we interpret a sentence differently. Or we may follow a looser or stricter style when it comes to <em>if/whether </em>choices. I cover style manual differences below these answers:</p> <ol> <li>Careful writers and editors choose <em>whether </em>in sentences like this one. In the sentence, there are two possibilities: I need management approval or I don't need it. When writing about more than one possibility or alternative, use <em>whether. </em>Hint: If you can add "or not" to the word and it makes sense, you want <em>whether. </em></li> <li>The choice in this sentence depends on meaning. If the writer wants to know either way (you plan to ride with us/you don't plan to ride with us), the clear choice is <em>whether.</em> (Remember the "whether or not" hint.) But if the writer does not want to hear from you unless you plan to ride with us, <em>if </em>is the correct choice. To me, the second part of the sentence suggests that <em>if </em>expresses the writer's intention.<em> </em>After all, I will not pick you up if you don't plan to ride with us. </li> <li>The correct answer is <em>if. </em>If the writer wanted to indicate that the lunch will take place under the tent rain or shine, the phrase "rain or shine" or the clause "whether it rains or not" would be clearer.</li> <li>Careful writers and editors would use <em>whether </em>in this sentence, which communicates about two possibilities (we will/we won't offer the promotion again). </li> <li>The correct word here is <em>if. </em>Using <em>whether </em>would indicate that no matter where you move, you may be out of range of our Wi-Fi. </li> </ol> <p>A few style manuals on my bookshelf offer these opinions:</p> <p><em>The Canadian Press Stylebook </em>says <em>if </em>and <em>whether </em>"are interchangeable when they make sense and are not ambiguous." In other words, <em>The Canadian Press Stylebook </em>supports using either word in sentences 1 and 4. </p> <p><em>Garner's Modern American Usage </em>distinguishes between the two words, always using <em>whether </em>for alternatives. <em>Garner </em>would use <em>whether </em>in 1 and 4 and would choose carefully between <em>if </em>and <em>whether </em>in number 2. </p> <p><em>The Chicago Manual of Style </em>agrees essentially with <em>Garner. </em><em>Chicago </em>adds, "Avoid substituting <em>if</em> for <em>whether</em> unless your tone is intentionally informal or you are quoting someone." <em>Chicago </em>also emphasizes that "determine whether" and "decide whether" are preferable to the colloquial (informal) "determine if" and "decide if," unless you want a colloquial style. </p> <p><em>The Gregg Reference Manual </em>generally<em> </em>agrees with <em>Chicago. </em>Also, it recommends using <em>whether </em>rather than <em>if </em>in these expressions: "see whether," "learn whether," "know whether," and "doubt whether." </p> <p><em>Microsoft Manual of Style </em>uses the traditional approach of <em>Garner </em>and <em>Chicago. Microsoft</em> also advises against using <em>when </em>for <em>if </em>in sentences like this one: "The printer might insert stray characters if [not <em>when</em>] the wrong font is selected." </p> <p><em>The Associated Press Stylebook </em>does not cover the use of <em>if </em>and <em>whether. </em></p> <p>Do you use the careful or the colloquial approach? Occasionally I use the informal <em>if </em>when readers expect me to use <em>whether. </em>I need to consider my audience and make choices that will help them focus on my message, not on my choice between two words. </p> <p><em><span style="color: #0000bf;">Lynn</span></em><br /><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com" target="_self" title="Visit Lynn's company website">Syntax Training </a></p> </div> <!-- SIGNATURE --> </div> <div class="entry-footer"> <p class="entry-footer-info"> <span class="post-footers">August 07, 2014 in <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/grammar_and_usage/">Grammar and Usage</a>, <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/proofreading/">Proofreading</a> </span> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="permalink" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/test-yourself-if-or-whether-.html">Permalink</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-comments" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/test-yourself-if-or-whether-.html#comments">Comments (2)</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-trackbacks" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/08/test-yourself-if-or-whether-.html#trackback">TrackBack (0)</a> </p> <!-- technorati tags --> <!-- post footer links --> </div> </div> </div> <h2 class="date-header">July 31, 2014</h2> <div class="entry-category-proofreading entry-category-punctuation_pointers entry-author-lynn_gaertnerjohnston entry-type-post entry" id="entry-6a00d8341c02a553ef01a73df8a141970d"> <div class="entry-inner"> <h3 class="entry-header"><a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/test-yourself-using-commas-and-semicolons.html">Test Yourself: Using Commas and Semicolons</a></h3> <div class="entry-content"> <input type="hidden" name="zemanta-related" val="" /> <div class="entry-body"> <p>How confident are you in your use of commas and semicolons? The article below contains 10 intentional errors that involve commas and semicolons. Note: I use the serial comma. If you don't use it, your error count will be different.</p> <p>A corrected version and a list of rules follow the test. No peeking until you are finished! </p> <p><strong>****************************</strong></p> <p>Nurturing Your Professional Network</p> <p>Your network is just like your garden. It must be nurtured, coaxed, and fed to continue to thrive and bear fruit for you. If you’ve been at a loss for ways to nurture your professional network consider these tips.</p> <p><em>Tend your network with many thanks</em>. Write a note of thanks promptly when a professional contact helps you, then follow up when you make progress because of that help. For example if your contact recommends a professional organization, report back on the positive experience you have had after you attend a meeting of the group.</p> <p><em>Keep your network in the know</em>. Whether they live in New York, New York or Walla Walla, Washington, people like to feel in the know. When new things come to light in your job search or profession, share them with your network. My friend Sarah began a job search on September 1, 2012, and ended it three months later; nevertheless, she still networks. She emailed me last week and wrote, “Kate, I made some new decisions recently, and I want to tell you about them.” I was delighted to hear from her and your contacts are likely to feel the same about you.</p> <p><em>Cross-fertilize your network</em>. Share information with your contacts who are in career transition, but don’t forgot those who are not. Recently I read an article I knew would interest a colleague and sent a copy to him with a brief note. I haven’t heard back from him, however, I am certain he was pleased to receive the information.</p> <p><em>If you are in a job search be patient</em>. The Greek philosopher Epictetus said: “No great thing is created suddenly any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you desire a fig, let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.” Plant the seeds tend your garden and new growth will gradually take place.</p> <p><strong>****************************</strong></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Corrected version: </strong></p> <p>Nurturing Your Professional Network</p> <p>Your network is just like your garden. It must be nurtured, coaxed, and fed to continue to thrive and bear fruit for you. If you’ve been at a loss for ways to nurture your professional network<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong> </span>consider these tips.</p> <p><em>Tend your network with many thanks</em>. Write a note of thanks promptly when a professional contact helps you<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>;</strong></span> then follow up when you make progress because of that help. For example<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong></span> if your contact recommends a professional organization, report back on the positive experience you have had after you attend a meeting of the group.</p> <p><em>Keep your network in the know</em>. Whether they live in New York, New York<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong></span> or Walla Walla, Washington, people like to feel in the know. When new things come to light in your job search or profession, share them with your network. My friend Sarah began a job search on September 1, 2012, and ended it three months later; nevertheless, she still networks. She emailed me last week and wrote, “Kate, I made some new decisions recently, and I want to tell you about them.” I was delighted to hear from her<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong></span> and your contacts are likely to feel the same about you.</p> <p><em>Cross-fertilize your network</em>. Share information with your contacts who are in career transition, but don’t forgot those who are not. Recently I read an article I knew would interest a colleague and sent a copy to him with a brief note. I haven’t heard back from him<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>;</strong></span> however, I am certain he was pleased to receive the information.</p> <p><em>If you are in a job search<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong></span> be patient</em>. The Greek philosopher Epictetus said<span style="background-color: #ffffff;"><strong>:</strong> </span>“No great thing is created suddenly<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong></span> any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you desire a fig, let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.” Plant the seeds<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong></span> tend your garden<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong></span> and new growth will gradually take place.</p> <p><strong>Rules: </strong></p> <ol> <li>Use a comma after an introductory clause: "If you’ve been at a loss for ways to nurture your professional network<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong></span> consider these tips."</li> <li>Use a comma to separate two sentences connected with the word <em>then</em>: "Write a note of thanks promptly when a professional contact helps you<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>;</strong> </span>then follow up when you make progress because of that help." (You might instead break the compound sentence into two sentences.) </li> <li>Use a comma after an introductory word or phrase such as <em>however, furthermore, on the other hand,</em> and <em>for instance </em>that guides the reader: "For example<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong></span> if your contact recommends a professional organization, report back on the positive experience you have had after you attend a meeting of the group."</li> <li>Use commas around the state, province, or country when a city precedes it in a sentence: "Whether they live in New York, New York<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong></span> or Walla Walla, Washington<span style="background-color: #ffffff;">,</span> people like to feel in the know."</li> <li>Use a comma to connect two sentences using <em>and, or, but, nor, so, yet, </em>or <em>for </em>(unless the sentences are very short): "I was delighted to hear from her<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong> </span>and your contacts are likely to feel the same about you."</li> <li>Use a semicolon to connect two sentences using <em>however. </em>Insert a comma after <em>however: "</em>I haven’t heard back from him<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>;</strong> </span>however, I am certain he was pleased to receive the information."</li> <li>Again, use a comma after an introductory clause: "<em>If you are in a job search<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong></span> be patient</em>."</li> <li>Use a comma to eliminate confusion that would result without a comma: <br />The Greek philosopher Epictetus said<strong>:</strong> “No great thing is created suddenly<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong></span> any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig."</li> <li>Use commas to separate items in a series: "Plant the seeds<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong> </span>tend your garden<span style="background-color: #ffff00;"><strong>,</strong> </span>and new growth will gradually take place."</li> </ol> <p>Which comma rules challenge you? </p> <p>For more practice finding errors, get my "<a href="http://syntaxtraining.com/errorquests.html" target="_self" title="Learn more about "Error Quests"">Error Quests</a>"<em> </em>as a printed booklet or a desktop tool. It has 50 short proofreading challenges, each with just one error. </p> <p>To learn the tricks of professional proofreaders, take the online class <a href="http://syntaxtraining.com/PDF/Proofreading_Like_a_Pro_Oct_29_2014.pdf" target="_self" title="Learn about the class">Proofreading Like a Pro</a>. </p> <p><em><span style="color: #0000bf;">Lynn </span></em><br /><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com" target="_self" title="Visit Lynn's company website">Syntax Training </a></p> </div> <!-- SIGNATURE --> </div> <div class="entry-footer"> <p class="entry-footer-info"> <span class="post-footers">July 31, 2014 in <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/proofreading/">Proofreading</a>, <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/punctuation_pointers/">Punctuation Pointers</a> </span> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="permalink" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/test-yourself-using-commas-and-semicolons.html">Permalink</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-comments" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/test-yourself-using-commas-and-semicolons.html#comments">Comments (7)</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-trackbacks" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/test-yourself-using-commas-and-semicolons.html#trackback">TrackBack (0)</a> </p> <!-- technorati tags --> <!-- post footer links --> </div> </div> </div> <h2 class="date-header">July 28, 2014</h2> <div class="entry-category-courteous_writing entry-category-email entry-category-etiquette entry-author-lynn_gaertnerjohnston entry-type-post entry" id="entry-6a00d8341c02a553ef01a511ea7ca9970c"> <div class="entry-inner"> <h3 class="entry-header"><a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/dont-blame-your-reader-when-saying-no.html">Don't Blame Your Reader When Saying No</a></h3> <div class="entry-content"> <input type="hidden" name="zemanta-related" val="" /> <div class="entry-body"> <p>In a recent business writing course, someone was writing a message to say no to an employee's unworkable request. In his first draft, he blamed the reader, writing, "Had your request complied with our guidelines, I may have been able to justify an exception." </p> <p>That sentence blames the reader, and reader blame is a no-no in a no message. </p> <p>When you write to tell someone no, your message will already disappoint the individual. Why add to the negative feeling by pinning the blame on the reader? </p> <p>This message saying no to an employee's request for time off shows what NOT to do:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Hi Cheri. <br /> <br />I received your message about taking paid time off on Friday. You know Sarah and Margot are scheduled to take that day off, so I am not sure why you asked. You know the policy is to have at least two people on the floor on Fridays. <br /> <br />Tyler</p> <p>Tyler's message not only says no. It blames Cheri for asking. </p> <p>This improved version communicates the rationale without blame:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Hi Cheri. <br /><br />I received your message about taking paid time off on Friday. Because Sarah and Margot are scheduled to take that day off, I cannot approve your request. We have to have at least two people on the floor on Fridays. </p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">I am sorry it did not work out this time. <br /><br />Tyler</p> <p>If you need to emphasize company or organizational policy in a no message, you can do it without blame:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Hi Michael, </p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">I'm sorry I can't say yes to your request to use the common room for a garage sale. Our condo association rules state that the common room cannot be used for events that are open to the public. </p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Of course, you are welcome to use the uncovered parking lot for the sale. You would just need to let me know and to give residents a 48-hour notice of your plan. </p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Jeffrey </p> <p>If you would like to learn more about saying no to employees, clients, and other people, get my book <em><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com/heart.html" target="_self" title="Learn more about the book and buy it. ">Business Writing With Heart: How to Build Great Work Relationships One Message at a Time.</a> </em>Its chapter "Say No Clearly and Courageously" shows how to say no in even the stickiest situations. Until August 10, you can use the coupon code "$10" to get $10 off. </p> <p>Do you want to take a class on building better relationships through writing? The online class <a href="http://syntaxtraining.com/PDF/Writing_to_Build_Relationships_Aug_13_2014.pdf" target="_self" title="Learn more and register">Writing to Build Relationships</a> takes place on August 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time/10 a.m. Pacific Time. It's just $99 and includes a copy of <em>Business Writing With Heart. </em></p> <p>Have you ever been blamed for making a request? </p> <p>Lynn<br /><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com" target="_self" title="Visit Lynn's company website">Syntax Training</a></p> </div> <!-- SIGNATURE --> </div> <div class="entry-footer"> <p class="entry-footer-info"> <span class="post-footers">July 28, 2014 in <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/courteous_writing/">Courteous Writing</a>, <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/email/">Email</a>, <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/etiquette/">Etiquette</a> </span> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="permalink" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/dont-blame-your-reader-when-saying-no.html">Permalink</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-comments" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/dont-blame-your-reader-when-saying-no.html#comments">Comments (2)</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-trackbacks" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/dont-blame-your-reader-when-saying-no.html#trackback">TrackBack (0)</a> </p> <!-- technorati tags --> <!-- post footer links --> </div> </div> </div> <h2 class="date-header">July 21, 2014</h2> <div class="entry-category-writing_tips entry-author-lynn_gaertnerjohnston entry-type-post entry" id="entry-6a00d8341c02a553ef01a511e5aa9d970c"> <div class="entry-inner"> <h3 class="entry-header"><a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/7-business-writing-truths-for-college-graduates.html">7 Business Writing Truths for College Grads</a></h3> <div class="entry-content"> <input type="hidden" name="zemanta-related" val="" /> <div class="entry-body"> <p>Writing that succeeds in college often fails in business. That is because professors, thesis advisors, and instructors want one style of writing. Classmates, friends, and family expect another type. But on the job, managers, employees, customers, and others need something completely different.</p> <p><strong>To write well on the job, consider these truths and apply them:</strong></p> <p><strong>Truth 1.</strong> <strong>Business writing has a purpose.<br /></strong>Your professors expected you to have a thesis. Friends and family wanted you to keep in touch. But on the job, your readers expect you to have a purpose. You must recognize your purpose and write to achieve it, whether it is to win back an unhappy client, promote a change, or help employees understand how a decision was made.  </p> <p>Apply the truth: Determine your purpose before you start writing.</p> <p><strong>Truth 2.</strong> <strong>Business writing focuses on action, results, and goals. <br /></strong>Academic writing presents and explores ideas and theories. Personal messages entertain, tell stories, and reveal who you are. On the job, your writing may explore ideas and present a compelling story, but it should lead to action or contribute to a goal.  </p> <p>Apply it: Before writing a document, decide what action you want your readers to take or feeling you want them to have. Do you want them to attend a conference? approve a request? feel positive about a new way of doing things? When you know what you want your readers to do or feel, you can help them move toward that goal.  </p> <p><strong>Truth 3</strong>. <strong>In business writing, every word counts--but not in the way it did at school. <br />W</strong>hen your professor assigned a 500-word essay, every word counted--that is, every word added up to the required 500. When you wrote to friends and family, they savored every word. But in business writing, less is more. When you communicate a big idea in 300 efficient words--not 500--you save time for yourself and your reader.  </p> <p>Apply it: Recognize that less is more. Before sending out or publishing a piece of writing, edit it for unnecessary words and redundant content. </p> <p><strong>Truth 4.</strong> <strong>In business writing, simple structures succeed. <br /></strong>Your professor probably encouraged your complex sentence structures, and your friends and family enjoyed them. But your manager will be impressed when you communicate simply and clearly. Although your 40-word sentences earned A's in college and admiration from friends and family, the 20-word versions will win acceptance and understanding on the job.  </p> <p>Apply it: Break up long, complex sentences. Be sure your documents average 20 words per sentence or less.  </p> <p><strong>Truth 5. In business, writers and readers speak different languages. <br /></strong>Your college professors were highly educated specialists who understood the six-syllable words you used in papers. Likewise, your friends and family knew your world and understood your slang and personal references. But your readers at work will range from senior executives to senior citizens, from technical experts to novice users, from your team members down the hall to workers in other departments or on other continents.</p> <p>Apply it: Use simple, clear words that match your purpose and audience. Although you were <em>cognizant</em> in college, choose <em>aware</em> on the job. Although school semesters <em>commenced</em>, make your business quarters <em>start</em>. Remember that at work high-quality things are <em>excellent, </em>not <em>sick, </em>and <em>CU </em>frequently means "credit union"--not "see you."</p> <p><strong>Truth 6. Essential points must stand out in business documents. <br /></strong>Pages of long, double-spaced, indented paragraphs are standard in college papers and in personal outpourings, which are read from beginning to end. But unlike academics and your best friends, business readers skim for the information they seek.  </p> <p>Apply it: Make it easy for your readers to retrieve what they need. Break your messages into brief, single-spaced, block-style paragraphs. Add plenty of headings, bullet points, and white space.</p> <p><strong>Truth 7</strong>. <strong>Business writers build others up. <br /></strong>College writing earns praise for clever, pointed, often sarcastic criticism of books, musical compositions, and other works. And writing to friends and family is a safe place for carefree carping about others. But in business, the same cutting remarks come off as rudeness, insensitivity, and even harassment. On the job, you use writing to build up other people and projects--not tear them down.  </p> <p>Apply it: Before sending out any communication, check it for tone. Ask yourself "Will this message support relationships or destroy them?" Change digs to diplomatic statements. Talk on the phone or meet in person if a written message might be taken as an attack.</p> <p>Do you have ideas to help new graduates and other people write well on the job? Please share them. </p> <p>If you supervise new grads or others whose writing should be better, get the guide <em><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com/guide.html" target="_self" title="Learn more about the guide">Help Employees Write Better</a>: A Guide for Managers, Trainers, and Others Who Care About Business Writing. </em>  </p> <p><em><span style="color: #0000bf;">Lynn</span><br /></em><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com" target="_self" title="Learn more about Syntax Training">Syntax Training</a></p> <p>P.S. I originally published this post as an article in my newsletter <em><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com/signup.html" target="_self" title="Subscribe.">Better Writing at Work</a>. </em></p> </div> <!-- SIGNATURE --> </div> <div class="entry-footer"> <p class="entry-footer-info"> <span class="post-footers">July 21, 2014 in <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/writing_tips/">Writing Tips</a> </span> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="permalink" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/7-business-writing-truths-for-college-graduates.html">Permalink</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-comments" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/7-business-writing-truths-for-college-graduates.html#comments">Comments (12)</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-trackbacks" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/7-business-writing-truths-for-college-graduates.html#trackback">TrackBack (0)</a> </p> <!-- technorati tags --> <!-- post footer links --> </div> </div> </div> <h2 class="date-header">July 11, 2014</h2> <div class="entry-category-best_picks_ entry-category-books entry-category-proofreading entry-author-lynn_gaertnerjohnston entry-type-post entry" id="entry-6a00d8341c02a553ef01a3fd2ff7d2970b"> <div class="entry-inner"> <h3 class="entry-header"><a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/book-review-a-good-laugh-at-other-peoples-mistakes.html">Book Review: A Good Laugh at Other People’s Mistakes</a></h3> <div class="entry-content"> <input type="hidden" name="zemanta-related" val="" /> <div class="entry-body"> <p><em>Just My Typo: From “Sinning With the Choir” to “The Untied States,”</em> by Drummond Moir, provides lots of hearty laughs. As I read the book last night, I caught myself repeatedly snickering at the errors proofreaders had missed and feeling grateful that I had not made or missed them.</p> <p><a class="asset-img-link" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/.a/6a00d8341c02a553ef01a3fd2ffa4a970b-pi" style="display: inline;"><img alt="Just My Typo" border="0" class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8341c02a553ef01a3fd2ffa4a970b img-responsive" src="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/.a/6a00d8341c02a553ef01a3fd2ffa4a970b-800wi" title="Just My Typo" /></a><br />The jacket copy of the 181-page book describes it accurately as “a charming collection of typographical errors, slips of the pen, and embarrassing misprints.” Below are bits of that collection that made me smile.</p> <p>From a section called “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You”:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">I am a rabid typist.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">I worked for 6 years as an uninformed security guard.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">As part of the city maintenance crew, I repaired bad roads and defective brides.</p> <p> </p> <p>From the chapter “To Be or to Be: Typos in Literature”:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Late that same evening after a vain search all around the village, Mary found the dog dead in the garden. She curried the body indoors. [From <em>Life in Barnsthorpe </em>by Patricia Cox]</p> <p> </p> <p>From the chapter “The Fourth Mistake: Typos in the Media”:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Report: Armstrong Used Rugs [From a CBC News caption about Lance Armstrong’s admission]</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Before the verdict was rendered this morning “Miss Mexico” told interviewers that if the court freed her, she would become a nut. [From <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em>]</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">He and his wife Gillian, who is a teacher, have three children, Gaven, aged 13 and 11-year-old twins ugh and Helen. [From <em>Orpington News Shopper</em>]</p> <p> </p> <p>On weddings:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Here the bridal couple stood, facing the floral setting, and exchanged cows. [From <em>Modesto News Herald</em>]</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Mr. & Mrs. Garth Robinson request the honor of your presents at the marriage of their daughter Holly to Mr. James Stockman. [From a wedding invitation—I had to look twice to catch the error.]</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">And they were married and lived happily even after. [From <em>Church World</em>]</p> <p><br />Punctuation problems led to many gaffes cited in the book:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Rachel Ray Finds Inspiration in Cooking Her Family and Her Dog. [From <em>Tails</em> magazine cover]</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Prudential—were here to help you. [Advertisement for insurance]</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">The legendary gangster, movie star and sensitive art collector Edward G. Robinson . . . .” [From <em>Guardian</em> Corrections and Clarifications. It should have read “gangster-movie star.”]</p> <p><br />And sometimes a simple missing letter made all the difference:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Welcome to Hotel Cosy: Where no one’s stranger.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Text Trust proudly lists “the 15 million we pages spell-checked over the past year.” [From a company press release]</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Fresh pain throughout [From a real estate blurb]</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">ILLEGALLY PARKED CARS WILL BE FINE [From a sign]</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><a class="asset-img-link" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/.a/6a00d8341c02a553ef01a73deafdb0970d-pi" style="display: inline;"><img alt="Parking will be fine photo" border="0" class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8341c02a553ef01a73deafdb0970d img-responsive" src="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/.a/6a00d8341c02a553ef01a73deafdb0970d-800wi" title="Parking will be fine photo" /></a></p> <p> </p> <p>One of the scariest errors was described in a correction slip and press release on the <em>Easy Sky Diving Book</em>:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">On page eight, line seven, the words “state zip code” should read—“pull rip cord.”</p> <p>The chapter “Autocorrect Dystopia: The Future of the Typo” features hilarious text exchanges, all of which are too X-rated for this blog. But I recommend them for a hearty laugh or guilty giggle.</p> <p>The <em>pubic</em> for <em>public</em> error appears several times. The costliest example involved a ballot proposal on “pubic employment.” Reprinting and distributing the ballots cost $40,000.</p> <p>The most embarrassing such error appeared on the 2012 commencement brochure of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of “Pubic” Affairs. I strongly recommend that everyone (except medical office staff) <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2005/12/public_or_pubic.html" target="_self" title="This blog post tells how">add an autocorrection to their grammar and spelling checker</a>, automatically changing every <em>pubic</em> to <em>public</em>. </p> <p>The book’s “Note to the Reader” gives these instructions:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">If during the course of reading this book you think you spot a typo, you haven’t. If you think you might have spotted one all the same, you haven’t.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">No typos will be corrected for future editions.</p> <p>Wouldn’t it be terrific if we could all include such a note on our documents? Maybe, maybe not.</p> <p>If you would enjoy a quick read with lots of humor, get Drummond Moir’s <em>Just My Typo: From “Sinning With the Choir” to “The Untied States,”</em> published by Three Rivers Press and retailing for US$11.99</p> <p>If you would like to catch as many errors as possible in your written messages, register for our <a href="http://syntaxtraining.com/PDF/Proofreading_Like_a_Pro_July_17_2014.pdf" target="_self" title="Learn more and register">Proofreading Like a Pro</a> class. The next one takes place on Thursday, July 17, at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. </p> <p><em>Lynn</em><br /><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com" target="_self" title="Visit Lynn's company website">Syntax Traiing</a> (That was another typo featured in the book) </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> </div> <!-- SIGNATURE --> </div> <div class="entry-footer"> <p class="entry-footer-info"> <span class="post-footers">July 11, 2014 in <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/best_picks/">Best Picks </a>, <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/books/">Books</a>, <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/proofreading/">Proofreading</a> </span> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="permalink" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/book-review-a-good-laugh-at-other-peoples-mistakes.html">Permalink</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-comments" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/book-review-a-good-laugh-at-other-peoples-mistakes.html#comments">Comments (3)</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-trackbacks" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/book-review-a-good-laugh-at-other-peoples-mistakes.html#trackback">TrackBack (0)</a> </p> <!-- technorati tags --> <!-- post footer links --> </div> </div> </div> <h2 class="date-header">July 02, 2014</h2> <div class="entry-category-grammar_and_usage entry-author-lynn_gaertnerjohnston entry-type-post entry" id="entry-6a00d8341c02a553ef01a3fd2a179e970b"> <div class="entry-inner"> <h3 class="entry-header"><a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/can-you-solve-this-july-4-riddle-.html">Can You Solve This July 4 Riddle? </a></h3> <div class="entry-content"> <input type="hidden" name="zemanta-related" val="" /> <div class="entry-body"> <p><a class="asset-img-link" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/.a/6a00d8341c02a553ef01a3fd2a16e3970b-pi" style="display: inline;"><img alt="July 4 edit" border="0" class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8341c02a553ef01a3fd2a16e3970b image-full img-responsive" src="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/.a/6a00d8341c02a553ef01a3fd2a16e3970b-800wi" title="July 4 edit" /></a></p> <p> </p> <p>I featured this riddle on Facebook, and it seems to have stumped people. Do you know the answer?</p> <p><span style="color: #0000bf;"><em>Lynn</em></span><br /><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com" target="_self" title="Visit Lynn's company website ">Syntax Training </a></p> </div> <!-- SIGNATURE --> </div> <div class="entry-footer"> <p class="entry-footer-info"> <span class="post-footers">July 02, 2014 in <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/grammar_and_usage/">Grammar and Usage</a> </span> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="permalink" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/can-you-solve-this-july-4-riddle-.html">Permalink</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-comments" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/can-you-solve-this-july-4-riddle-.html#comments">Comments (7)</a> <span class="separator">|</span> <a class="entry-trackbacks" href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2014/07/can-you-solve-this-july-4-riddle-.html#trackback">TrackBack (0)</a> </p> <!-- technorati tags --> <!-- post footer links --> </div> </div> </div> <div class="pager-bottom pager-entries pager content-nav"> <div class="pager-inner"> <span class="pager-right"> <a href="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/page/2/"><span class="pager-label">Next</span> <span class="chevron">»</span></a> </span> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div id="gamma"> <div id="gamma-inner" class="pkg"> <!-- sidebar2 --> <!-- Google Search --> <script type = "text/javascript"> function clickFocus(input){ input.className = 'focus'; if (input.value == input.defaultValue){ input.value = ''; } } function unFocus(input){ input.className = 'entered'; if (input.value == ''){ input.value = input.defaultValue; input.className = 'normal'; } } </script> <form method="get" action="http://www.google.com/search"> <div class="googlebox"> <input type="hidden" name="ie" value="UTF-8" /> <input type="hidden" name="oe" value="UTF-8" /> <div align="center"><input type="text" name="q" size="14" maxlength="255" value="Search This Blog" class="searchbox" onfocus="clickFocus(this)" onblur="unFocus(this)" /> <input type="submit" name="btnG" value="Go" style="padding:0; margin:0; text-align:center; width:28px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight:bold; font-size:11px;" /></div> <span style="font-size:0px;"> <input type="hidden" name="domains" value="www.businesswritingblog.com" /> <input type="hidden" name="sitesearch" value="www.businesswritingblog.com" /> </span> <div align="center"> <a href="http://www.google.com/"><img src="http://www.google.com/logos/Logo_40wht.gif" alt="Google" width="128" height="53" border="0" /></a> </div> </div> </form> <!-- end Search --> <!-- photo adspot --> <div class="ctr"><a href="http://syntaxtraining.com/heart.html"><img src="http://www.businesswritingblog.com/.a/6a00d8341c02a553ef01a3fa91deac970b-pi" alt="Business Writing with Heart - How to Build Great Work Relationships One Message at a Time" width="146" height="220" style="border:1px #333 solid;" title="Learn about Lynn's new book"/></a></div> <!-- End photo adspot --> <!-- rss / bookmarking --> <div class="subscribebox"><h2>Subscribe</h2> <!-- social subscribe --> <div id="followthis" style="text-align:center; padding:10px 0;"> <span class='st_twitterfollow' displayText='Twitter Follow' st_username='SyntaxLynn'></span> <iframe src="//www.facebook.com/plugins/likebox.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsyntaxtraining&width=170&height=290&colorscheme=light&show_faces=true&header=true&stream=false&show_border=true&appId=649758471713658" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; overflow:hidden; width:170px; height:290px;" allowTransparency="true"></iframe> </div> <!-- end social --> <div class="module-syndicate module" style="padding:0px; margin:0px;"> <div class="module-content" style="padding:4px 0px 0px 0px; margin:0px; border-bottom:0px #C4D4E5 solid;"> <strong style="font-size:13px;">By Email</strong><br /> <a href="http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/emailverifySubmit?feedId=2863746&loc=en_US" target="_blank"><span style="font-size:12px; line-height:14px;">Have the latest posts delivered to your inbox!</span></a> <p> <strong style="font-size:13px;">By RSS Feed</strong><br /> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/businesswritingblog/BwB09" title="Works with all email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo! 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