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February 2012 Volume 8 Issue 2

The Write Stuff

February 2012  Volume 8 Issue 2

More of Adrienne’s Pet Peeves
It always cheers me to run across people who are disappointed to see substandard writing, and meeting some kindred souls at a networking event made me realize I’m overdue for another pet peeves list.

1. Using two spaces after each period. This is old school, folks. One space suffices…and you might be surprised to see how eliminating those extra spaces tightens up your copy.

2. Using “it’s” as a possessive. This error would be #1 if I kept a top 10 list. Whenever you use “it’s,” you have contracted “it is.” Every time. No exceptions.

  • Wrong: Baseball is almost finished with it’s off-season.
  • Right: It’s a real shame my Cubs look destined for another disappointing season.

3. Capitalizing college majors. Unless you studied a language (English, French, etc.), your major should be lowercase.

  • Right: I earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University in political science and journalism.

4. Failing to properly use hyphens. That small dash can make a big difference in the readability of your copy.

  • Wrong: puck friendly boards and state of the art goalie equipment
  • Right: puck-friendly boards and state-of-the-art goalie equipment

5. Failing to properly use commas. This handy tool provides a way to let readers know when a pause is appropriate. If you’re not sure if you need one, read your sentence out loud.

  • Wrong: With the playoffs just a few months away my Sharks are looking good…again.
  • Right: With the playoffs just a few months away, my Sharks are looking good…again.

 

Do you know businesses that could benefit from my writing or editing expertise? I’ll treat your referrals like gold.

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