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Friday, May 23, 2008

Office Depot Forgot to Run Spell Check

A corporate executive made the comment to me two weeks ago that there should no longer be any excuses for spelling errors in business copy because everyone can run a spell checker. Apparently someone at Office Depot forgot to spell check the directions page included with a package of Tent Cards we purchased for a workshop recently.

As you can see above, SEPERATING CARDS is the final category on that directions page. It should read SEPARATING CARDS.

Please remember to run your spell checker so that readers will remember WHAT you wrote, not how poorly you wrote it!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

WSJ Gets Caught on Subject/Verb Agreement

Today's "gotcha" grammar glitch is from a recent "Tech Blog" entry in the Wall Street Journal. In an interesting article about the role of jargon in a lawsuit, Ben Worthen created this sentence:

Amazingly, the meaning of these buzzwords are at the heart of a claim seeking more than $100 million.

Whoops! Here we go AGAIN! The subject of Ben's sentence is "meaning," which is singular. The verb should be "is." The prepositional phrase "of the buzzwords" does NOT affect the relationship between the subject and the verb.

Ben should have written:

Amazingly, the meaning of these buzzwords is at the heart of a claim seeking more than $100 million.

It is easy to make this mistake, but the careful writer proofreads and spots the error before someone else does.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Give...Gave...Given--Which Goes with "Could?"

This headline appeared in the Sports section of USA Today on Wednesday, April 30. The columnist, Michael Hiestand, probably knows better. Maybe he was just in a hurry. Or maybe someone else wrote the headline.

Whatever happened, my husband spotted this grammar goof for me.

When you use a helping verb like "could" or "should" or "would" with a verb, you use the PRESENT TENSE form of the verb with it. Therefore, this headline should have (not "should had") read as follows:

Knicks could give analyst carousel a spin.