Do you get frustrated when, despite your best proofreading efforts, an error slips by? It happens to everyone, including me. In yesterday's E-Tips ezine from Upwrite Press, I found an excellent description of the investment one company makes to ensure that its documents are free of errors. In the ezine,...
Question: Which of these abbreviations are correct?$25 m   $25m   $25M   $25mm   $25milAnswer: None of them if the reader does not understand them. Last week I heard from David, a proofreader in international banking, who wrote about standard abbreviations for millions and billions. In an industry in which a typographical error...
Doubts about hyphens drive people nuts. In my business writing classes, people regularly raise anxious questions about hyphen/no hyphen and word open/word closed. I just got an email from a client who had three hyphen questions, so I am inspired to supply some Hyphenation Information. (I capitalized and bolded...
The Associated Press has just published a new edition of its style manual. Like the 2004 edition, it is called Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law. But this one is spiral bound, with the year 2006  on its cover. It sells for $13.75 plus shipping. If your 2004 edition...
Some people talk about their mistakes in therapy. Some write about their mistakes in diaries or journals. I write about mine here. That way, I may save other people from making the same errors. The mistake: disburse vs. disperse. My mistake was thinking that disburse meant "distribute methodically" while disperse...
People often visit this site looking for evidence of the cost of writing errors. Here is a story to add to your files. According to The Janesville Gazette, the Florida career management firm Allen and Associates is being sued because of a letter that should not have been sent,...
Yesterday I discovered another mistake I had made, and I decided to turn it into a piece of advice for you. Isn't that what life is all about--turning our mistakes into something positive? Here is the situation: Last week I completed a proposal for a potential new client for classes...
Dangling modifiers--these are the phrases that appear at the beginning of a sentence (usually) that give people a chuckle because of what follows them. Here is an illustration:Chewing contentedly on our rose bushes, Aunt Amy saw a doe and a small deer. Because the name Aunt Amy follows the opening...
Today I received good spell-checking advice in an email from Attorney Weston M. Binford, Jr., CPA. He pointed out that spell-check in Microsoft Word 2003 ignores any text with a number in it, therefore not catching an error like this: Retur4nsExperimenting, he realized:Apparently any numberinsertedmakes7itokIt turns out that spell-check...
My company is Syntax Trianing--I mean Syntax Training. I teach business wirting--that is, business writing. The errors I have just made--Trianing and wirting-- are ones I often make as I type. To avoid making errors, I use the Autocorrect tool in Microsoft Office. Whenever I type Trianing or wirting,...