English and Grammar

Grammar offenders and tyrannical grammar enforcers (have you met me?) may never live in harmony. As a diligent Seattle copywriter, English maven, and upholder of language rules, I strive to eliminate common language mistakes.

Here are just a few of errors that are relatively easy to recognize and improve upon:

 

  1. “Loose” versus “Lose”
  2. Transgression: Spelling.
    Frequency: Common.
    Fix: Easy.
    It’s a simple matter of one ‘o’ or two, e.g., Did you lose 20 pounds? Are those pants too loose on you?

  3. The Oxford comma
  4. Transgression: Punctuation.
    Frequency: Common.
    Fix: Easy.
    Every item but the last item in a list gets a comma after it. Eliminate ambiguity with ease!

    In his will, late Uncle Albert left Frank, Veronica, and Susan $9 million.

    In this example, the Oxford comma (after Veronica) clarifies that each heir will presumably receive $3 million.
    versus

    In his will, late Uncle Albert left Frank, Veronica and Susan $9 million.

    In this example, the lack of the Oxford comma could signify that Frank will receive $4.5 million while Veronica and Susan will receive the other $4.5 million and each end up with only $2.25 million.

  5. The plural form of “medium” is “media”.
  6. Transgression: Incorrect plural.
    Frequency: Common.
    Fix: Easy.
    The medium of black and white photography is inspiring. Graphic designers need to understand different media, such as print, web, and illustration.

    If you are a wizard at creating content for various platforms, outlets, and technologies, please describe that as being familiar in several types of media.

  7. Two spaces between sentences: unless you are using a typewriter, stop doing it.

Transgression: It’s unnecessary.
Frequency: Extremely common, typically with people who fervently defend their grade school education where they learned by rote.
Fix: Moderate.
Untrain your brain from double spacing after a period, question mark or exclamation point. It’s that easy.

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