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October 2012 Volume 8 Issue 10

The Write Stuff

October 2012  Volume 8 Issue 10

You Asked for It, You Got It: More Pet Peeves

 

It’s pet peeve time! Here are more of mine; I’ll never run out of “ammunition.”

 

1. Impact and effect/affect. When making references to influence, “effect” (the noun) or “affect” (the verb) are more appropriate than “impact.” The latter should be reserved to describe forceful contact–something physical.

 

Right: The California vote isn’t likely to affect the presidential election.

Right: The effect of the California vote is rather limited.

Right: The impact of the hit resulted in a concussion.

 

2. It and they. A company should be referred to as an “it,” not a “they.”

 

Right: Apple will release its latest earnings report soon.

Wrong: Apple will release their latest earnings report soon.

 

3. Acronym misuse. Using acronyms, like MLB instead of Major League Baseball, is a way to shorten copy and make it easier to read. You must define acronyms the first time they’re used in a document–i.e., Major League Baseball (MLB)–but after that, the acronym alone suffices. Also, remember what acronyms stand for, so you don’t inadvertently “stutter” by repeating words contained within them.

 

Right: Once again, my Cubs didn’t even come close to participating in the MLB playoffs.

Wrong: Once again, my Cubs didn’t even come close to participating in the MLB baseball playoffs.

 

4. Unnecessary capitalization. This is an oldie but a goodie. Proper nouns require capitalization; “ordinary” words don’t. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients tell me they like to capitalize words to emphasize them. That’s just wrong.

Right: Do you wonder what our Founding Fathers would think of our country today?

Wrong: Do you wonder what our Founding Fathers would think of our Country today?

 

What are your pet peeves? Send them to me, and perhaps you’ll see them in a future issue of The Write Stuff.

 

Have you read my latest blog about the fact that professional writers aren’t immune from making mistakes? Check it out at blog.adriennemoch.com.

Do you know businesses that could benefit from my writing or editing expertise? I’ll treat your referrals like gold and you’ll be viewed as a superstar for making the introduction.

adriennemoch.com adrienne@adriennemoch.com 619-291-4645

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