Another set of goofs and gaffes

I’ve recently seen several mistakes involving the wrong word used in place of another that sounds identical, but is spelled differently and carries a vastly different meaning. An Indianapolis Star article about flooding had a caption that began “Storms dye down …”  The writer meant to say “die down,” as in taper away, not “dye […]

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Walla and no further adieu

Most people who insert foreign-language phrases and expressions into their materials do so because it makes them appear to be intelligent and sophisticated, n’est-ce pas? That is, it does unless they misspell the phrase or don’t really understand what it means. A particularly common error involves using the marvelous French word “voilà” (“behold” or “there […]

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Beware the dastardly dangling participle

Grammar and syntax can be funny things. You can have two sentences that appear to be identical, aside from some subtle switches in word order, but they may mean very different things. Take this sentence: “Towering above the company’s production facility, our technician inspected the smokestack.” Or this one: “Born in Schenectady, the inventor’s first […]

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Increase revenues by using simple English

Want proof that keeping your copy simple and easy to understand is more effective? Just look at Washington State. Like most government units, the Evergreen State is constantly trying to increase revenues (especially since there’s no state income tax). A few years ago, tax officials noticed that use-tax revenues were below projections … and they […]

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