Thursday, October 7, 2010
Writing Right!---A Guest Post by Nikola Hartmann
”Every Student Should Own a Dictionary.”
You can imagine my humiliation when I read those words on a report I’d hastily written for a high school chemistry class. And though this incident occurred roughly 30 years ago, the memory still makes me cringe.
Since then, I always take the time to proofread my work three, four, and even five times. And still I occasionally overlook a misspelled word or use one in the wrong context.
In my travels around the web and even in print, I notice that I’m not alone in my struggle to conquer the comma or defeat the dangling participial.
We, writers sometimes forget that using our word processor’s spell checker is not the same as editing. I love technology as much as the next girl. But when it comes to finalizing my work, I prefer the old-fashioned way.
Here is a simple guide to help you catch potential “hiccups” before they find their way into print.
i.e. or e.g? Know the Difference.
i.e. is Latin for id est. It means that is or in other words. For example: “The standard rate, i.e., $25.00 is still in use.”
The abbreviation e.g. stands for the Latin words exempli gratia and means for example. As in, “Don’t forget to pack your toiletries, e.g., toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, deodorant.”
Commonly Misspelled Words.
10 Everyday Words That Are Often Misused.
all ready--- prepared
already--- before now
desert---- dry, arid land
dessert--- sweet food eaten after a meal
imminent--- about to happen
fortuitous---- happen by chance (not necessarily fortunate)
stationery-- writing supplies
“Puffspeak”. Avoid using inflated words and jargon-filled expressions.
upwardly mobile-- successful
bottom line--- result
Long-Winded Expressions. Most wordy phrases can be trimmed to two or three words.
Instead of--- Use
at this point and time--- now
by means of--- by
due to the fact--- because
sue is a woman who--- she
rarely ever (double talk)--- rarely
in spite of the fact--- although
with the exception of--- except
all of--- all
Don’t risk losing credibility by submitting so-so work. Check out these free resources when you need help.
Guide to Grammar and Writing
How to Use There, Their and They’re
Any comments on this piece? Did you learn something new?
Do tell. :-)