I am excited to announce Error Quests, a new product we just released. It is a collection of 50 short excerpts from business messages, each one containing just one error in grammar, usage, word choice, sentence structure, or punctuation. Your job is to find the single error according to business writing standards in the U.S. and Canada. (American spellings are used.)
Here is a sample Quest. Can you find and correct just one error in it?
Error Quest 24
We are pleased that you have made your travel plans. Once you arrive at the airport and retrieve your baggage, you will be able to get a taxi just outside the baggage claim area. A typical one way fare from the airport to our conference center is $40. The trip takes approximately 45 minutes in rush-hour traffic.
Error Quests comes as a printed booklet and as a PDF. In the printed booklet, you can find the solution to each Error Quest just beneath it (no peeking!). In the PDF, you can click for the solution, and it will appear on the screen right below the Quest. Try this PDF sampler of five Error Quests.
Well, did you find the error in Error Quest 24?
Here is the solution:
The error involves the adjective one way before fare. It should be rendered as one-way. The hyphen is required to link the two parts of the compound adjective before the word fare. If the sentence had read “A typical fare is $40 one way,” no hyphen would be required because one way comes after fare rather than before it. Similar examples requiring a hyphen are two-door cars, three-week trip, 10-minute breaks, and 20-year drought.
Of the 50 Quests in the booklet, 44 have appeared in our monthly e-newsletter Better Writing at Work; 6 are new Quests.
Many people have told me how much they enjoy testing their skills each month in the newsletter. Their positive comments gave me the idea to collect the Quests into a handy booklet of quick proofreading tests. Each Error Quest presents an error I have found in clients' writing–nothing rare or ridiculously difficult.
Interested? Error Quests as a booklet or PDF is just US$9.95. Read more.