Correctness 101

rogersgeorge on September 21st, 2016

My second rule for good writing is to be correct. Because of the vagaries of English, this means two things, and both are servants of the first rule, being clear. The first kind of correctness in writing is getting the mechanics right. Here are some examples of not doing so, taken from real messages. I won’t identify anyone to avoid embarrassing them.

Poor English:

Understand the existing documents & update as per the changes implemented in the release.
…your availability for the below position

Bad English:

 I have below requirement for one of the client Sunrise, FL
Xduce Corporation is Oracle premium partner specializes infrastructure.

Careless English (aka typos):

atteniton instead of attention, hte instead of the, mabye instead of maybe, [the list goes on]
…copy of your resume in MS Word format.If this position does not match your background
Although TOM cannot get passed the tests without Ava’s help, he otherwise displays many of the hallmarks of consciousness.
The seeds of the newspaper chart explosion at the end of the 20th century were sewn in the offices of IBM and Bell Labs decades earlier.

I don’t even know what to call this one. Doofus English?

You must initially login at least once within 7 day(s), by: 09/19/2016

Sigh. “Initially” can happen only once, period. What does “at least once” even mean here? 7 should be written out. Seven days is always plural; no need for the parentheses, or the colon.

I don’t generally flag typos in my posts because they are mere slips of the finger (and a sign of poor proofreading). But you need to learn not to trust your spellchecker. Homonyms are too common. The BC comic is handwritten, I think, but this is still a good example of the don’t-trust-your-spell-checker rule:


The readers who made comments had a heyday with that one.

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