In my work as a business writing teacher, I read samples of writing from managers and employees at all levels around the country and the globe. In 2014 I repeatedly saw three errors. Two of them are punctuation mistakes; one falls into the grammar pot. Can you find the top...
Have you been correcting non-errors? Test your knowledge in the 10 items below. Only two sentences contain an error in grammar or usage. Can you recognize which two? Those two represent errors editors sometimes introduce into sentences that were originally correct.  Do not edit for style--focus on true errors. Choose...
The other day a subscriber to my free monthly newsletter, Better Writing at Work, wondered whether this month's "Error Quest" paragraph had two errors rather than one. Donna wrote: Isn't there another error in the paragraph? What about "I feel bad"? Shouldn't it be "badly"? (I feel HOW? badly---an adverb.) Maybe I am wrong,...
Which word, if or whether, is correct in each of these sentences?  I am not sure if/whether I need management approval for this purchase.  Let me know if/whether you plan to ride with us, and I will pick you up.   The lunch will take place under the tent if/whether it rains.  Rochelle asked if/whether we...
  I featured this riddle on Facebook, and it seems to have stumped people. Do you know the answer? LynnSyntax Training 
Subject-verb disagreement is one of the commonest errors I see these days in business writing. People who have mastered punctuation, pronouns, and challenging word pairs still miss the occasional agreement problem.  Sometimes a plural verb is incorrectly paired with a singular subject, for example:  Each of the selected candidates have to...
Today I sent out my free monthly newsletter, Better Writing at Work, to more than 19,000 subscribers. As always, I included an Error Quest. That's the monthly puzzler paragraph that includes one error for readers to find. Unfortunately, this month's had two.  I have removed the error I intended from the paragraph...
The other day I had lunch with an old friend at a restaurant. We both ordered tea, and our tea came in ceramic teapots. My friend's teapot had a noticeable chip on its lid. She commented to me, "They should not be using a chipped teapot!" I agreed.  For the...
I was looking for a bottle of red wine at my favorite supermarket when I saw the sign below. Which "it's" is correct? The one in the first line, the third line, both, or neither? If you are not sure which pronoun is correct, read this blog post for help: It's?...
In a new year's greeting I received from a public relations company, I found the first error of the year. Describing a special cocktail (a drink with alcohol), the message said, "*More than one is required to assure lasting good fortune." Did you find the error? The problem is not in grammar...