Test your error-finding skills in each of the three short passages below. Each passage has just one error.  Passage 1: The purpose of the conversation is to recognize the common ground between members of the Republican Party and the Democrat Party in our state. We hope to come away with a...
I saw this great card designed by Jessica Hogarth at my local supermarket. It's a thank-you card for a teacher. Does it contain an error? If so, where? If not, why not? Do you worry about whether errors are getting by you? Or that you are correcting non-errors? Check out these...
In an earlier post, I promised to review Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style "in a few days." That was more than three weeks ago. I've been savoring the book, making notes on every chapter. I am now ready to tell you that--as a reader...
Today I was reading an article online in Forbes. I expect Forbes to produce error-free articles, but an error popped out in this sentence: When you stop to think about it, the sheer amount of websites can also confuse and perplex us. Did you recognize the error?        It's the same error I made on...
When writing is fuzzy, perfectly clear ideas come across as vague, illogical, or ambiguous. Don’t let fuzzy writing undermine your brilliant ideas! Great ideas deserve clear expression. Avoid the five don’ts below to communicate clearly with your audience. 1. Don’t use this alone. When the word this stands alone, readers...
I received an invitation to a professional meeting focused on hiring "formerly-incarcerated talent (FIT)." FIT--that's a catchy acronym.   But what caught my attention more was the unnecessary use of the hyphen. Did you notice it? These are formerly incarcerated (not hyphenated) individuals.  Here's the rule: Do not use a hyphen with...
When a newspaper makes the mistake on the front page of the sports section, you know an error has spread. The writer, copyeditor, and proofreader all missed it. Can you recognize it?  When I saw that error in a Seattle TImes headline, I cringed, but I wasn't surprised. Just a...
Are you feeling smart and alert today? Test yourself in the three short passages below. Each "Error Quest" has just one error. Find and correct it.    Error Quest 1: Since you asked, this is RoAnn's and my suggestion: We believe that we should use the word programs rather than tracks. Programs fits better with our offerings...
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...