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September 20, 2017


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John Held

Actually, "alternate" is now considered correct. (see https://www.google.pl/search?q=alternate&oq=alternate&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8).

Paul Kelly

Thanks for these occasional tests, Lynn, to keep us on our toes!
I spotted and agree with all your corrections. But the use of "awhile" in this context would be unusual in British English, where we would expect to write "a while".

Jennifer Everson

I would have also selected, "not able" to be changed to "unable" in the Passage 1.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello John,

Thank you for letting me know "alternate" has become acceptable for "alternative" in some cases. Although I could not read the Polish, I checked my reference books and found one ("The Gregg Reference Manual") that agreed with your comment. Therefore, I changed the original blog post. However, I would suggest that careful writers observe the difference between the words. The new "Chicago Manual of Style" still makes the distinction.

Thanks for keeping me honest.


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Paul, I'm glad you like the tests. Thanks for letting me know.

Regarding "awhile," I changed the example to reflect your comment. Now "awhile" is clearly an adverb and is correct as one word.

Thank you!


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Jennifer,

"Unable" is an excellent choice. However, "not able" is also correct. An editor would need to decide whether to change it or accept the author's rendering.

Thanks for commenting.


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