Monday’s Mistake for May 10, 2021: More Apostrophe Abuse!

Monday’s Mistake for May 10, 2021: More Apostrophe Abuse!

Do you see the punctuation error in this sentence? (And yes, the word punctuation is a hint.) “This historical fiction series accurately depicts the time of London during the 1920’s and 1930’s.” Those apostrophes don’t belong. It’s not the 1920’s and 1930’s. It’s the 1920s and 1930s. We don’t use apostrophes to make words plural, as I’ve said elsewhere. But I’ll say it again: Don’t use apostrophes to make words plural. Don’t use apostrophes to make words plural. Don’t use apostrophes to make words plural. No, this...
Monday’s Mistake for May 10, 2021: More Apostrophe Abuse!

Monday’s Mistake for May 3, 2021: Parentheses Gone Wild!!

This Monday’s Mistake relates to our new Guide to Punctuation, but also to the ever-important rule to choose clarity! Here’s the sentence: “The digital front-end (website, app, store, etc.) and the back-end (like customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resources planning (ERP) and billing systems) need to sync with each other.” Do you see a problem with it? I do: confusion. Technically, the writer used parentheses correctly, but they lost the clarity. The poor reader has to work to get through this forest of...
The 6 Types of Punctuation We Get Wrong, and a FREE eBook to Fix All That

The 6 Types of Punctuation We Get Wrong, and a FREE eBook to Fix All That

Does punctuation matter? Yes! How you use punctuation can change the meaning of your writing—in ways you might dread! Punctuation exists for a reason: to help us communicate clearly. Consider the beginning of this blog post without punctuation: Does punctuation matter yes how you use punctuation can change the meaning of your writing in ways you might dread punctuation exists for a reason to help us communicate clearly Or consider this classic example of a sentence with two very different meanings, depending on the punctuation:...
Monday’s Mistake for May 10, 2021: More Apostrophe Abuse!

Monday’s Mistake for April 26, 2021: Who vs. Whom? How to Check…

These Monday Mistakes just keep showing up! I’m not sure if that makes me happy or sad. For example, consider this online ad that showed up on my laptop screen this week. Do you see the error? It should say, “It matters whom you travel with.” Do you struggle to remember when to use whom instead of who? Here’s help… My oldest, who is following in my footsteps and taking over www.weknowwords.com for his freelance proofreading business, gave me a simple way to remember: If he or she is the correct pronoun,...
Monday’s Mistake for May 10, 2021: More Apostrophe Abuse!

Monday’s Mistake for April 19, 2021: When Is a Verb not a Verb??

This week’s mistake is drawn from real life as usual. Sadly, it’s only one example of mistakes I see that show a lack of knowledge about words that function as both nouns and verbs and sound the same but are written differently. But more on that in a minute. First the mistake: “We’ll walkthrough the facility to show you the areas and supplies to which you have access. Then we’ll walk-through the building to inspect it before your departure.” I hope one mistake jumps out at you right away: the inconsistency. One sentence says...