Monday’s Mistake for June 7, 2021: Comma Craziness + Clutter

Monday’s Mistake for June 7, 2021: Comma Craziness + Clutter

I had an attack of acute gastritis a while back, although I didn’t know it at first. I thought I had a severely upset stomach, that’s all, although I was in a lot of pain and sleeping a lot. On the evening of the second day, I finally Googled my symptoms to learn it was acute gastritis. As much as I appreciated finding the information I needed so I could treat the ailment, I was distressed to see this crazy use of commas on a medical website: “There are several different types of acute gastritis. This is due to the fact that the...
Monday’s Mistake for June 7, 2021: Comma Craziness + Clutter

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 June 7, 2021: Comma Craziness + Clutter

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 June 7, 2021: Comma Craziness + Clutter

Monday’s Mistake for April 12, 2021: Did Legal Write This??

My samples for these Monday Mistakes practically fall from the sky. They show up in my email inbox, on food packaging, and in my mailbox. This week’s Monday’s Mistake is courtesy of a sales letter I received. Do you think the legal department wrote this? It has a mistake, which I’m sure you’ll see, but it is also convoluted—which is a mistake in my mind, because our goal is clear communication, especially when trying to sell something! Here it is: In the event of a covered accidental loss of life, this coverage, when combined with...