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August 2015 Volume 11 Issue 8

The Write Stuff

August 2015  Volume 11 Issue 8

Spell Check Users Beware

I often hear people discount their need for an editor since they use spell check. Oh my. This program will alert you to misspelled words, but it ignores correctly spelled words that are used incorrectly and it certainly doesn’t take the place of a good editor who can review your work for consistency, flow, and more.

While I don’t espouse doing without spell check, I do suggest caution when using it, as many of its suggestions are wrong. Here are a few I recently received (SS stands for spell check suggestion):

My copy: “Make sure planning, practice and preparation are part of your culture.”
SS: add a semicolon after “planning”

My copy: “…with contacts who pose no threat.”
SS: change “who” to “that”

My copy: “…health data based on the system design.”
SS: change “data based” to “databased”

My copy: “We will follow up…”
SS: change “will” to “wills”

My copy: “Every year we introduce…”
SS: change “introduce” to “introduces”

These suggestions made me laugh, but I wonder if some people would assume they’re correct and make changes that weaken their work. Don’t be one of those people! If you occasionally need the opinion of a professional regarding a spell check suggestion, e-mail the details to me.

OED Updates

Think the dictionary never changes? Think again. In an effort to remain current, the Oxford English Dictionary recently added dozens of new words, including “twerk,” “hot mess,” “masshole” and “yarn bomb.”

Once is Enough

In most instances, it’s easy to spot when you’ve been redundant—but not always. Here’s a mistake I often see regarding money:

$10 million dollars

Look right to you? It’s not, as the dollar sign eliminates the need to use the word “dollars.” Thus, this would be correct:

$10 million

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