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ERROR MADE ME SMILE :)

By DebFebruary 27, 2016in Grammar Humor0

Sometimes errors can inadvertently be a good thing.

The other day at work, I received an email about an upcoming update to a software program.  It said that we had to be signed out of the system by 5 PM that day so the update could take place.  It then advised that a list of “enchantments” was attached to the email for our review.

How about you?  Wouldn’t you rather read a list of enchantments any day over a list of software enhancements?

When the woman that wrote this message became aware of her error, she sent me an email saying she wished I could edit all her emails before she sent them out.  I responded with a big thank you for brightening my day and giving me a HUGE smile.

Not all errors are bad!  Some bring smiles and laughter to our lives.

Do you have any stories of “good” errors?  I’d love if you would share…

MURDER IN THE AIR! BEWARE THE SERIAL COMMA!

By DebJune 26, 2015in Punctuation1

Commas are constantly overused, underused, and misplaced.  In my opinion, commas are one of the most important punctuation marks we have!

Read these two sentences and notice the difference a comma makes:  Let’s eat grandma!  Let’s eat, grandma!  COMMAS SAVE LIVES!

Have you heard about the dreaded serial comma?  No, it’s not a serial killer, but it has been known to cause rifts between friends, co-workers and even countries.

The serial comma is very much in use in American English.  My go-to reference book, The Chicago Manual of Style, recommends using it.  In British English (think Canada) it is much less common.

The serial or series comma (also called the Oxford comma) is placed immediately before the final conjunction in a list of three or more items (usually and, or, nor).  The main argument against using the serial comma is, if the list contains only single words, leaving it out doesn’t change anything.

Here is a sentence where the serial comma definitely helps to keep the meaning clear:

I made a variety of sandwiches for the luncheon: egg salad, chicken salad, peanut butter and jelly, and ham and cheese.

What are your thoughts on the serial comma?  Do you use it in all your writing, or only when you feel it’s absolutely necessary?  Are you passionate about the serial comma, or do you just not care?  I want to hear what you have to say…

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WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL PUNCTUATION PET PEEVE (PPPP)?

If I asked what your pet peeve was, how would you respond?

What about a pet peeve about punctuation? Do you see things, when you are reading, that drive you crazy? If you gave it some thought, you might actually discover you have more than one personal punctuation pet peeve (PPPP).

I definitely have multiple PPPPs, but the biggest is people who use apostrophes to make words plural. You know who you are! LOL.

I see this all the time. It is especially common when people are making acronyms plural. Think DVD’s  and CD’s (as opposed to DVDs and CDs). I understand that people may be concerned about all the letters running together, but the best solution, in my opinion, is simply showing the acronym in capital letters and using a small letter s at the end.

The official online definition of an apostrophe ( ‘ ) is: a punctuation mark used to indicate possession (e.g. John’s book or the boys’ coats) or the omission of letters and numbers (e.g. can’t for cannot or the class of ’99 for 1999).

Let’s have some fun! Right now, share your PPPP here in a comment. Let’s see if you agree about the misuse of apostrophes or if your PPPP is even more annoying!

I look forward to reading your comments! Don’t keep me waiting…

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GRAMMAR QUEEN IS BORN!

By DebMay 28, 2015in News & Updates0

“I’m writing to you because I remember how anal you are about punctuation and grammar and noticing missed things…”

That was the first line of an email I received, which provided the impetus for me to offer my services as a copy editor, line editor, PDF editor and proofreader. Renuka Baron, business and life partner of Dov Baron (my personal and business mentor), asked if she could hire me to proofread Dov’s new book before it was published. It had been through an editor and line editor already, but she found an error and thought one more set of eyes wouldn’t hurt.

As a child, I was a voracious reader.  If I didn’t have a book, I would simply read whatever I could put my hands on.  I remember reading cereal boxes at the breakfast table. As an adult, I discovered what I call my mental affliction – spelling, punctuation, and other grammar-related errors jump off the pages at me.

My affliction is well known to friends and co-workers. I have assisted with many business and personal documents over the years, but no one had offered to pay for my talents before the day that email arrived. I was delighted to do the work, although slightly reluctant to accept payment. I had not yet grasped the value of what I had to offer.

I didn’t count them, but I am advised my proofreading of that book uncovered 106 errors! Word of mouth spread and I began to get calls for my services. A business was born!

Spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors are everywhere you look today! Randomly open a book, pop onto a website, read signs at your local store (and along the road), or go online to the most popular social media sites: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. You, like me, will quickly find multiple errors.

How do you feel about the person or company publishing these errors? Do you question their professionalism?

What about your own writing and posting? Do you worry you won’t be understood, or that someone might question your professionalism? Does a wave of fear wash over you each time you hit the post button? Is this worry impacting your creativity? Do you have lofty goals and this fear is holding you back?

How good would it feel, to know you have a second set of eyes ensuring you will always be understood and look professional? What would it be worth to you, to hit the post button without hesitation or fear? You need Grammar Queen™ on your team assisting you to post with confidence!

Check out my Services page to discover how my unique talent can assist with your next project.

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