Look Out Below!

Today as I was reading samples of writing for two upcoming classes, I noticed that two people from two different companies had used the word below incorrectly. Based on this experience, I decided to provide the lowdown (the truth) on below.

Here are the problem sentences:

  1. The below is a good example of what we discussed on the telephone.
  2. I need additional information about your request in the below email.

What is wrong with these sentences? The problem is that the word below should be used as an adverb telling where. But in Sentence 1, below is used as a noun, a thing. In Sentence 2, it is used as an adjective, answering the question which one?

Here are corrected versions of the two sentences.

  1. Below is a good example of what we discussed on the telephone.  [Below answers the question where?]
  2. I need additional information about your request in the email below. [Below answers the question where?]

Both sentences required just a tiny change so that the word below would play the correct role in the sentence–answering the question where?

Look out–where?–below!

Lynn