1) Our team of globally-renowned writers are hand-picked for each project because of their focus and experience on that particular vertical.
Rule: “Team” is a collective noun, which means it is always treated as a singular noun, which means it takes a singular verb, which means that “are” is incorrect; the verb should be “is.”
Rule: never, ever hyphenate an —ly adverb: globally-renowned is so wrong.
Two mistakes in one sentence about “globally renowned writers”! Methinks somebody doth exaggerate just a smidge. Well, it was good for a laugh, anyway.
2) We believe that, while SEO is of preeminent importance in today’s search-centric world, high-end journalistic excellence remains the core of our being; the focus of our every move.
Why is that semicolon there? The material that follows a semicolon needs to be a complete sentence, and this isn’t. A comma was what was needed. (So much for “journalistic excellence”!)
3) Build strong brand affinity by creating relevant content that touches on every passion of your core audience—and converts them into your biggest fans.
Rule: “Audience” is a collective noun, and needs a singular verb and singular pronoun. You can’t say “them” with “audience”—sorry. It’s got to be “audience” plus “it” or “audience members” plus “them,” but it can’t be “audience” plus “them.”
4) Launching in January 2013, Discover saw over 1 million UMV’s within the first month of launch.
Rule: The plural of an acronym that is displayed without periods is always formed by adding a lower case “s.” No apostrophe.
5) Our writers interviewed various Olympic athletes and wrote 500 originally-reported stories to be showcased on the Olympic Pulse Page daily.
Yikes! Never hyphenate an –ly adverb, no matter how correct it sounds. (And you wrote for the Olympics?)
6) We then built the custom content to support the brand, their mobile and desktop platforms, and marketing initiatives.
Rule: You cannot use a plural pronoun with a singular noun.
Corrected: We then built the custom content to support the brand, its mobile and desktop platforms, and marketing initiatives.
7) We helped Lasso create a go-to-market strategy by doing a high-visibility guerilla-style launch at SXSW in Austin, TX.
Question: Should there be a comma between “high-visibility” and “guerilla-style”?
The coordinate adjective rule has two parts:
a) Can you flip the order of the adjectives and still have the sentence make sense?
b) Can you put “and” in between the adjectives and still have the sentence make sense?
Because both of the criteria for the coordinate adjective rule are met, this sentence should have had a comma between the two adjectives that precede “launch.”
8) We produced all of the product copy for the Patagonia’s women’s snow/winter clothing for Patagonia’s 40th Anniversary edition of their catalog for Fall 2013.
Two mistakes here.
First, “Patagonia” is a company, and a company is an “it.”
Second, you could have said “the Fall 2013 catalog,” but you can’t say what was said. (You could also have said “its catalog for the fall of 2013,” but you shouldn’t capitalize the name of a season unless it is part of a title.
Those were all from the same site. Here’s some more from Thomson Reuters.
Oops! Here’s a mistake that I hope you caught. The sentence above should have read: “Here are some more from Thomson Reuters.”
9) Join us in January as a newly re-imagined Marketing Partner Forum returns to Terranea for a three day summit on collaborative strategies in business development.
“Three day” is a compound adjective preceding the noun it modifies, and so should have been hyphenated.
10) Take advantage of Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute sponsorship opportunities- events, live and on demand webcasts, newsletters, blogs or professional publications, and you gain immediate access to the best quality audience in law.
Gee, why is that hyphen there after “opportunities”? Ouch! You need a dash. Another possibility would have been a colon, but NOT a hyphen, especially a hyphen with no space between the first word and a single space between the second word. Very sloppy.
Plus, why aren’t there hyphens between the compound adjectives “on-demand” and “best-quality”?
11) BLOG AND E-NEWSLETTER SPONSORSHIP – Tell your organization’s story with an in-depth blog posting or article to decision makers’ actively seeking new information.
Why, pray, is that apostrophe there with “makers”?
To round things out, here are a few more “problem” sentences from more people who should know better.
12) We’re your locally-owned, independently-minded neighborhood bookstore with three locations in South Florida – Coral Gables, Miami Beach and Bal Harbour Shops – and affiliate stores in Grand Cayman, Westhampton Beach, and the Miami International Airport.
Wow, someone doesn’t know the “never hyphenate an –ly adverb” rule!
13) She is a regular speaker at conferences and events including the Singapore Writer’s Festival.
I would have put a comma after “events,” since I’d consider what follows to be parenthetical, but the really wrong part is “Singapore Writer’s Festival,” which is the Singapore Writers Festival. Here’s a tip, folks: When you go somewhere but can’t spell the name of that place/event correctly, it really does make people wonder if you were there at all….
14) Some of her advice is not that new—active vs. passive voice—but remind us what the tenets are of good writing.
One of the “tenets of good writing” is definitely that the subject agrees with the verb.
Rule: When material is put inside parentheses or between dashes, that material is not part of the subject. So the subject in this sentence is not “active vs. passive voice,” it is “advice” (some of it is not that new…). Which means, of course, that “remind” is incorrect; it should read “reminds.”
15) I created the 10-tips list below for small and midsize companies because these organizations often don’t have a full-time marketing or communications staffer; blogging is left to an editorially gifted CEO or leader who can clearly express themselves.
First, you should say “small- and midsized companies” (suspended hyphen rule).
Second, when you use “or” as your conjunction, it separates the nouns. Keeping them separate keeps them, in this case, singular. (Using “and” would have made them a plural unit.) Which means that you have to say “him- or herself” instead of “themselves.”
I wouldn’t have used a semicolon either, but it’s not incorrect.
My take: I created the 10-tips list below for small- and midsized companies because these organizations often don’t have a full-time marketing or communications staffer, so blogging is left to editorially gifted CEOs or other leaders who can clearly express themselves.