Sunday, March 27, 2011

Its and it's

I often see "it's" written when one means to use the possessive "its." A simple way to avoid this problem is to think "it's" means "it is." The apostrophe mark indicates a letter is missing. "Its" does not have an apostrophe. "Its" indicates possession as in "The dress lost its lustre after being washed."



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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Underlining for emphasis

One of our readers, Francis Ford, wrote in to comment on our tip "How to show emphasis." He said that it is no longer necessary to underline words for emphasis as it was when documents were written by hand or typewriter. Today, when people see a word underlined, they expect to find a hyperlink . Mr. Ford makes a good point. Italics or bold can be used for emphasis instead.


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Monday, March 14, 2011

Errors all around us

Have you ever looked at a billboard or a sign in a store and wondered if the proofreaders were asleep on the job? It seems to happen more and more often these days: errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation on signage. Here are some examples from my collection:
Kleen Lighting Technology at It's best
Visionary Family Conference - Never to Late
Contractor's tag line: "No home to big or small. We service them all."

Feel free to submit yours.



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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Some of the words and phrases people use are simply made up. They do not exist and should not be used in proper English.
1. Supposably [meant to say - supposedly]. Example: Supposedly she is coming tomorrow.
2. Irregardless [meant to say - regardless]. Example: Please call me regardless of the time.
3. For all intensive purposes [meant to say - for all intents and purposes]. Examples: For all intents and purposes, she is hired.
4. Use to [meant to say - used to]. Example: We used to be colleagues.

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