On a morning walk, I picked up a sales flyer for a luxury building--luxurious except for the missing hyphens. How many hyphens would you insert in the passage below? Feel free to list your hyphenated words.  Stunning stand alone home. Striking design and functionality come together in all living spaces....
Over the 10+ years of writing this business writing blog, I've been consistent about virtually all my style, punctuation, and grammar choices. But there's one comma rule I've flip-flopped on:  my husband Michael my husband, Michael,  I have just one husband. His name is Michael. In a sentence should I surround his name with...
Punctuation experts: See whether you can find a variety of punctuation errors sprinkled throughout the business letter below. In some places, punctuation is missing; in others, it's unnecessary or wrong. Find and correct the errors, but do not change the wording. ******************************* Dear Professor Donaldson, Kate Michaels has asked me to write a reference...
Test your punctuation prowess in these four punctuation challenges.  First Game: 100-Word Hyphens In this 100-word passage, insert hyphens wherever they belong:  The new four story condominium development on Bank Street features homes with state of the art appliances and the latest in furnishings. Buyers looking for beautifully appointed two and three...
Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders have differences. But according to the editors at The New York Times, one of them is not the way their names are made possessive. The Times forms the possessive the same way for both of them.  Times example: But in the end, Mr. Sanders's populist economic message proved no match for...
Let's face it. In 2015 typos hid undetected in our writing. So did errors in grammar and punctuation that we would have recognized if we weren't racing to upload, print, or click Send. Mistakes happen.  But some mistakes happen over and over--not just from moving too fast but from lack of understanding. The 10 items below illustrate...
This sign includes several subtle errors. Can you find and correct them? Please share your brief corrections--no need to rewrite the content. I will post my corrections on November 16. Enjoy the weekend!   Would you like to be more confident correcting punctuation? Take my Punctuation for Professionals course.  LynnSyntax Training
Please--don't do it. Don't use apostrophes to make expressions plural, like this: This photo of a plumbing supply company storefront is NOT for a company owned by people named Spa and Pool. If it were, Spa's & Pool's might be the perfect sign.  Spas & Pools--that's what the sign should say.  Google...
UPDATED IN JANUARY 2019 Do you know the difference between a dash and a hyphen? Do you recognize where to use en dashes and em dashes? If you do, then pass this post on to someone else. Or read it to be sure of your knowledge. In business writing classes, people regularly...
There is a lot to like in Mary Norris’s Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen. If you live and breathe the world of publishing, writing, or editing, you will enjoy Norris’s stories about the quirky way things are at The New Yorker, where she has copyedited...