I am enjoying Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style. Author Benjamin Dreyer, copy chief of Random House, included a chapter titled "Notes on Easily Misspelled Words." Thinking you will enjoy the challenge, I offer a spelling test. I chose 20 of Dreyer's 116 easily misspelled...
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...
My friend Eric W. sent me a sign that needs your proofreading eye. What would you change?   Please share your recommendations in a comment.  If your company or organization has a sign-making department, suggest that one of its team members take my online course Proofread Like a Pro.  LynnSyntax Training   
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...
Envious? Jealous? Do you use these words interchangeably? Or do you make a distinction between them? Test your understanding by filling in these blanks:  I am _______________ of my neighbors' gorgeous backyard.  Rob feels _______________ when he sees Carlos talking to their new supervisor so often, especially when both of them are laughing.  Natalie...
A dear friend just told me about an embarrassing apostrophe situation she experienced at work. She had just put up a sign with the heading October Birthday's, which listed employee and member birthdays, when someone stopped and stared grimly at it.  The individual said, "I'm a grammar guy, and this sign...
A reader named Deborah shared a short email she recently received: Dear Sirs,pls let me have by return the supp docs about yr a.m. invoice because we cannot find our shpm.Thks and rgds How would you feel if you received this message? Would you care that it's riddled with errors?  Let's count...
I just received an "Oops!" email from our beloved, prestigious public television station. When I read the subject line, "Oops! Correction for Rick Steves Preview Screening and Q+A!" I instantly knew what the oops must be: a date error.  Indeed, the email opened "Apologies, there was a date typo in...
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...