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February 19, 2020


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Jan Fontanoza

Error Quest 1: Do not start the sentence with "Because".

Error Quest 2: Her family has a long history in the community; her father taught at a local high school, and her mother played in the city's symphony orchestra. Semicolon after community.

Error Quest 3: Adrian Talbot (S&I), Ginette Shellman (IT), Ombretta Evans (CT), and I make up the core technical team. I, not myself

KL Snyder

1. "He is a keen farmer, a voracious reader, and is intimately involved . . . " should be "He is a keen farmer and a voracious reader and is intimately involved . . . " (Or "who is intimately involved . . .")

2. "Socially-connected" should have no hyphen.

3. In the first sentence, replace that clunky "myself" with "I"!

Ben Hickman

1. Parallelism in second sentence (remove second “is”)
2. No hyphen after adjectives ending in “ly” (“socially”)
3. Pronoun usage (myself > I)


I agree with Ben.


Should #2 have a comma after "dedicated" or maybe the word and?

"I would describe Eva as a socially-connected, dedicated, development officer." Or, "I would describe Eva as a socially-connected and dedicated development officer."

Joy Wilder

1) Delete "Because"

2) Her family has a long history in the community: her father taught at a local high school; her mother played in the city's symphony orchestra.

3) Delete "myself" and replace with "I".


1. Faulty parallelism. "He is a keen farmer, a voracious reader, and intimately involved with local political organizations." Even better could be, "He is a keen farmer, a voracious reader and an avid supporter of local political organizations."

2. No hyphen needed in "socially-connected" because the adverb ends in 'ly' and the hyphen is not required for clarification.

3. Pronoun issue. "Myself" should say "I" instead. A good test of this one is to remove the first part of the sentence and read it like this: "myself make up the core technical team." It doesn't make sense, but "I make up the core technical team" does.


I agree with Melissa!

Business Writing Blog

Thank you, Jan, KL, Ben, Laura, SM, Joy, Melissa, and Patty, for sharing your corrections. Please review my solutions in the main blog post. I have clarified a few points below.

In Error Quest 1:
It is not an error to start a sentence with "Because." Teachers have led many people into thinking it's wrong to start a sentence with that word, but you can start a sentence with any word you choose.

Eliminating the word "is" does not complete the correction. It leads to a series of two nouns and one adjective, which is not parallel.

KL, I love your suggestion of using "who is intimately involved."
Melissa, I like your correction with "avid supporter."

In Error Quest 2:
The passage does not need any semicolons.

"Socially connected, dedicated development officer" would be wrong with a comma or an "and" after "dedicated." That's because "development" is an integral part of the phrase "development officer." The phrase "development officer" is modified by "socially connected" and "dedicated"--requiring just one comma.

In Error Quest 3:
Everyone was correct. Congratulations!


Ben Hickman

Thanks, Lynn! I was on the right track, but didn’t quite understand the nuances of the rules. Your explanations were clear and concise – exactly the kind of teaching that I can put to good use in my work as a translator and editor. I love your quizzes and look forward to the next one!

Business Writing Blog

Hi Ben,

I am glad you appreciated the feedback, and I am happy to hear that you value this blog.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.


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