Are You Doing This?
Before I begin, a big thank you to everyone who reached out to say how much they enjoyed my niece Jenna’s article last month. I passed all comments along to her — and they made her day.
What is this in the headline? It’s actually four writing miscues I see fairly often, all of which are easy to correct. Here goes.
1. In addition. When you use these two words, it is not necessary to use also as well.
- Wrong: In addition to watching baseball, I’m also watching hockey and football.
- Right: In addition to watching baseball, I’m watching hockey and football.
2. Including. You should not use this word if you are listing all options.
- Wrong: The seminar will cover three topics, including dogs, cats and elephants.
- Right: The seminar will cover three topics: dogs, cats and elephants.
3. Either. This word should only be used if there are two alternatives.
- Wrong: We will have either pizza, pasta or steak for dinner.
- Right: We will have pizza, pasta or steak for dinner.
- Also Right: We will have either pizza or pasta for dinner.
4. Want. This is a tense issue that’s better shown than explained.
- Wrong: I wanted to catch up with you to see how you’re doing.
- Right: I want to catch up with you to see how you’re doing.
Any of these look familiar? Now you know how to go from wrong to right.
Do You Care?
Throughout my life, my first and last names have been misspelled. I won’t lie — it always irritates me. I know there’s no malice intended, but the lack of attention is maddening. Do you care if someone misspells your name? Does it make you think differently about that person?
“I Always See It That Way”
I’ve heard that line from people when I correct words they believe they’ve spelled correctly too many times to count. Something I see consistently misspelled, even by authors, is bestseller. It’s one word, without a hyphen — even if you see it spelled differently all the time.