I want the best in dentistry--not business writing--from my dentist. But I'm still disappointed when I receive a pointless, error-filled email like the one below. In it, I have changed the name of the dental practice to "Your Favorite Dentist." Otherwise, it's identical to the email I received. What do...
My dear friend just had major surgery in another city. Texting me to let me know how she is, her husband wrote, "She's nauseous a lot."  But is she nauseous or nauseated? What do you think?  Word sticklers distinguish between nauseous and nauseated. Because my friend was an English major in college and is...
There's a hit song titled "Him and I" whose ungrammatical title and lyrics drive me nuts. A correct title would be either "Him and Me" or "He and I"--never "Him and I."  Why? Because him is an object pronoun, and I is a subject pronoun. They never belong together.  Did you know that? If you find...
If you can write a catchy sentence using I when the wording really demands me, do you choose I or me? If fewer fits your meaning but less sounds breezier, do you go with the correct fewer or the rhythmic less?  I wondered about these questions the other day when I read an article about REI's in-store trunk show called "Less Labels,...
Do you use the abbreviations i.e. and e.g. in your business writing? Do you use them interchangeably, or does each expression have its place? How would you define them if a child asked you what they meant?  To think about how to use e.g. and i.e., choose the correct abbreviation in these examples: 1. We need an HR professional...
Our six-year-old neighbor brought his Pokémon card game over for a playdate the other night. As our daughter read aloud the instructions on a card, the grammar caught my attention. Do you notice it too?    "Your opponent puts a card from his or her hand on the bottom of his or her deck."...
The other day my fitness coach went online to pay a $250 deposit on her daughter's high school trip. She found the website and the correct trip, clicked the link to pay $250, and then faced a cell marked Amount. In a hurry, she typed 250, the amount of her...
Get your proofreading game on! Three challenges await you. A hint about the number of errors, followed by the solutions, appears at the end of the tests. Test 1: The Note of Thanks Dear Krista; Thank you very much for your work on the auction. Your limitless enthusiasm and energy...
While you have been busy working, some of the rules of writing evolved, and the University of Chicago Press released a new Chicago Manual of Style. Take a look at the changes below to determine which ones you need to adopt. Then update your company style guide to be...
I just finished reading another excellent mystery by Louise Penny: The Beautiful Mystery. Penny's series of Inspector Gamache mysteries, which take place in Québec, gets better and better with each volume. I'm always looking forward to the next one.  This time I read a library book. To my surprise, a previous reader wrote in the...