February 22 Editing Quiz!

More sentences from “professional speaker” websites, plus the usual sloppiness from various sources.

1) The Vistage Chief Executive Program creates a unique environment that provides each member with the individual insight, coaching, strategies and leadership skills needed to achieve better decisions and results for their company.

2) Program Features Include: [What’s wrong with this heading?]

3) Get feedback on your toughest decisions from the chief CEO’s most effective sounding board — fellow executives who have met and overcome the same challenges.

4) Leigh served as Chief Operations Officer for MHI Global, leading all of the key operating areas of the business including: independent distribution channels, global operations, sales and client operations, public sales and lead generations teams.

5) From 2005 to 2006, he served as Group President of The NPD Group, Inc., a global provider of consumer and retail information, where he led all of their entertainment and technology related businesses.

6) Your Vistage private advisory board will serve as way of developing a trusted network of business relationships and give you access to over 50 years of practical, focused knowledge that can prepare you to better anticipate the needs of your clients and be ready with proven solutions.

7) Our chapter typically meets the second Saturday of August, September,October, November, January, March, May, and June for half day meetings in the Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County area Throughout the year, we hold additional events of value to speakers and to those who utilize professional speakers.

8) Her extensive training and credentialing is comprised of classes and workshops at Harvard, post-surgery therapy with a concentration in extremity conditions, especially hand injuries, kinesiotaping, and various soft tissue modalities.

9) So many Black and Brown lives; Black and Brown love; and Black and Brown families are in muddled in the mayhem of incarceration.

10) It’s the kind of publicity every author dreams of: In the heat of the 2016 primaries, a leading candidate for president mentions your new book in a nationally-televised debate.

11) Her comprehensive post-graduate training was conducted by medical specialist masters including: Mona Lisa Schultz, M.D., Ph.d., Christine Northrup, M.D., and Carolyn Myss, PhD.

12) Renowned for it’s eclectic collection of decorative items for your home or yacht, Spring Fever carefully selects items from vendors in America, Asia, Europe and South Africa. Its exquisite array of lamps, mirrors, prints and pillows is complimented by a large assortment of useful and unique ornaments that fit perfectly into just about any locale.

13) Gary Bailey is a former soccer star for Manchester United, (biggest sports club in the world) and Michelle is his glamorous wife and former Miss Universe (1992) and they are both Experts in not only surviving Pressure, but Thriving under it!

14) Professor Rakesh Sondhi and I wrote the book after many discussions on how pressure affects sportsman and woman, and what business people could learn from sport.

15) Five years demonstrated ability to effectively lead, supervise, train, and develop staff and manage conflict resolution.

16) (Please clearly mark the packages you send to jurors “FLORIDA BOOK AWARD ENTRY”.

17) Send four copies of your book for each category entered for the first category and three copies for each additional category. (e.g. one book entered in three categories = 10 copies of the book).

18) Seven years experience in higher education, development, fund raising or equivalent experience in a non-profit institution.

19) The Vistage Inside program offers a configurable talent development approach that fully engages your team, equips them with the skills and sensibilities to manage collaboratively and helps them achieve higher levels of performance.

20) These full-day sessions will align your team on issues and opportunities, empower them with a common language and shared goals, inspire collaboration, and break down functional silos.

February 15 Editing Quiz with ANSWERS!

February 15 Quiz with ANSWERS!

1) Earth, Wind & Fire were one of the most musically accomplished, critically acclaimed, and commercially popular funk bands of the ’70s. [From Pandora]

A group is an it, and so is singular: Earth, Wind & Fire was one of the most…

2) These are from a smoke and pet free home.

Suspended hyphen time: a smoke- and pet-free home.

3) 20 Image’s Of The Titanic That’ll Give You Chills [Headline from Huffington Post]

With few exceptions, the plural of a word in American English is formed by adding –s or –es. The exceptions are a) when a word changes entirely, like mouse and mice, b) when a word stays the same in the plural, like trout and species, and c) when an acronym with periods, like M.B.A., is plural, you add an apostrophe plus s.

4) Better Fitness In Middle Age May Stop One Of Your Organ’s From Shrinking [Headline from the Huffington Post]

Same here. The only supposedly authoritative publication that does a worse job of editing than the Huffington Post is Wikipedia. The Wikipedia staff is too lazy to impose any sort of style on its publication, and so Wikipedia is stuffed with every punctuation and grammar mistake known to God and man.

5) Friedman’s Shoes was the place where a man seven-feet tall with a size 22 foot could buy shoes the way everyone else does — right off the shelf.

No hyphen when the compound adjective is placed after the noun it modified: a man seven feet tall, or, you could have written “a seven-foot-tall man.”

6) In 1998, the NBA lockout, hit many of their best customers in the pocket.

In this sentence, “their” refers back to Friedman’s Shoes, which, as a company, is singular, an “it.” Plus, you’ve got a comma between the subject and its verb—a big, big, big no-no.

7) Our team of experts are available to speak to your organization at no cost.

“Team” is a collective noun, and is singular. And, as with most mistakes, when you put this sentence into Microsoft Word, you get underlining, which helps a writer lean in a bit, to see if he or she has made a mistake. Use Word!

8) Toastmasters International, “Where Leaders Are Made” is the world’s largest non-profit educational organization dedicated entirely to improving leadership and communication skills.
Here we have parenthetical information about Toastmasters,

“Where Leaders are Made,” that should be enclosed by commas. A pair of commas. Plus, drop the hyphen in “non-profit”; it should be nonprofit.

9) His books include his latest titled “Things LEADERS Say: A Daily Guide to Help Every Leader Empower & Inspire”, and his award-winning business humor book “Kiss Your Customer: 77 Reasons Why Sales & Service Are Just Like Dating & Relationships”.

Wow. Book titles are italicized. Plus, whenever you do use quotation marks, they are always placed outside periods and commas.

10) He is a Corporate Trainer, Author, Educator, Professional Coach, Adventure-Based Facilitator, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Compassion Fatigue Therapist, A Critical Incident Stress Debriefer with Specializations in Corporate Crisis Intervention for Workplace Violence, working with Victims and Families in the Wake of Mass Disasters, as well as after Domestic Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. He works with companies all over the world. His diversity of knowledge about people and group dynamics keep him in demand. He uses his expertise and educational understanding to help participants work together to increase performance and develop cohesiveness. He has given hundreds of presentations to Associations, Companies, Women’s Groups, Churches and School Students.

Great example of capitalization run amok. Horrible. Another problem, though, is that “knowledge” is singular, and so the verb form should be “keeps,” not “keep.”

11) Carrie strength in Global Awareness and International Relations comes from being an Advocate for 31 International High School Exchange students from 13 different countries over a 5 years during their exchange year in the Tampa Bay Area.

Should be “Carrie’s strength.” Then there’s the nasty “over a 5 years” phrase. Plus, what’s this about all the capitalization?

12) She has appeared on many TV & Radio Interviews.

Again, why are “radio” and “interviews” capitalized?

13) She shares a systemized strategy for achieving success beyond your wildest dreams that is based upon four foundational pillars – standards, discipline, accountability, and systems.

“Systemized”? huh? Is that a word? Well, it is in the dictionary, so I’ll let it slide, but I’d go with “systematized.” And, I don’t like “foundational” with “pillars.” That is a meaningless phrase. Let’s call it “pillars” and leave it at that.
Rewrite: She shares a systematized strategy for achieving success based upon four pillars: standards, discipline, accountability, and systems.

14) She delivers an inspirational, powerful message that motivates the audience to take action, change their mindset and empower others.

“Audience” is a collective noun. It’s singular. So, “their” should be “its.” If that feels awkward, write “audience members.”

15) She is the first Hispanic Female to be hosting the podcast.

“Female” is not a proper noun, and so should not be capitalized.

16) David’s keynote program is not so much a typical general session ‘speech’ as it is a full-blown high-energy one-man show.
In American English, use double quotation marks first. If you need quotation marks inside those quotation marks, then and only then do you use single quotation marks.

Also, here you’ve got three adjectives—full-blown, high energy, one-man—modifying “show.” I’d drop the “full-blown,” which doesn’t add anything.

17) Here you experience presentations by some of the best presenters the National Speaker Association has to offer and you get to interact with a wide range of accomplished professional speakers from the Central Florida area.

This is called a run-on sentence. Either break this into two sentences, or stick a comma after “offer.”

18) Please make sure to select the proper affiliation you have with our Chapter (different fee’s apply).

Wow, the plural of fee is fees. Also, I’m not keen on capitalizing “chapter.”

19) Our greatest marketing challenge is to know intimately what the client needs, what keyword phrases are important to THEM and also how we see ourselves.

“Client” is singular. You cannot say “them” (it’s got to be him or her), and you sure as heck shouldn’t make matters worse by capitalizing your mistake!

20) He alls the “Findability” or industry experts call it SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

This sentence, aside from the typo, is awful. I really can’t rewrite it because it doesn’t make any sense. Why is “Finability,” which is not even a word, capitalized? And, I always suggest placing the acronym after the phrase that’s being abbreviated.

21) He is a top rated presenter, having delivered 100+ presentations to the CEO organization Vistage and scoring as their highest rated speaker.

I don’t believe it, but, whatever. “Vistage” is a company and so is singular: its highest rated speaker.

22) The Global Speakers Federation (GSF) is the world-wide professional body serving the interests of their individual members while advancing the professional speaking community globally Through the relationships with member associations and global meetings industry partners, the GSF provides education to support the unique skills for presenting to audiences outside of the cultural and linguistic set of a speaker’s home country.

Again, “body” in this instance is singular, and so the phrase should be “its individual members.” Plus, there was no period after “globally.”

Fall into Good Writing Habits, Test #2, with ANSWERS!

1) Every Smashwords book will be listed for patrons in every library (unlike with OverDrive, where the book’s not discoverable to patrons until the library acquires it.

Can’t just have part of a parenthesis.

2) If you enjoy, as I do, monitoring the shadow cast by Amazon and how they’re using self-published books to undermine their competitors, you might enjoy my two blog posts marking the demise of Flipkart and Oyster.

Amazon.com is an it: it is using, its competitors.

3) By clicking “Pay Now”, I acknowledge that I have read and agree with the Eventbrite terms of service, privacy policy, and cookie policy.

Quotation marks always go outside periods and commas in American English. Always.

4) Now in her 50s, she is reining as the city’s top hostess.

Yikes. She’s reigning, not reining. “Reining” is for horses.

5) She is a self-published author, poet, and literary critic. Her and her husband live in Winthrop, Maine with their cats.

Christ on a sidecar. “Her and her husband” ought to hang his and her heads in shame.  “Literary critic” my….eye.

6) Your items should be delivered to our office during the week of November 16-20, 2015.

Important rule alert! Use a hyphen between non-negotiable numbers, like telephone numbers, Social Security numbers, bank accounts, etc. BUT! Use a dash between ranges of numbers. Since these “items” are due between November 16 and November 20, a dash was what was needed here.

7) She is also working on starting an online book editing service and is updating her literary blog to include a section for reviewing other author’s works.

Oh, really? An “editing” service? What a hoot! Authors deserve better.

8) Johnny was found by an animal protection officer, emaciated and tied so tightly he could not lay down.

It’s “lie,” not “lay” here. Here’s how to remember: use “lie” when you could use “sit,” but use “lay” when you could use “set.”

9) How would you describe what you write (i.e. fiction, memoir, nonfiction, poetry, etc.)?

First off, “i.e.” is always followed by a comma, as is “e.g.” Second, I would rephrase the entire sentence, and probably say something along the lines of “Would you describe what you write as fiction, memoir, nonfiction, poetry, or something else?”

10) As a TV reporter, I wear a used coat when I’m on the set. Somebody was complementing me the other day on my coat and I held my tongue and actually didn’t say,”…and it was only $6!”

Geez, someone “complemented” you? I don’t think so! Someone might have complimented you, maybe. The way I remember the choice is that I compliment you, and that helps me to remember that it’s compliment with the “i” in the middle that means an expression of praise.  Also, the second sentence is a run-on sentence, which is two complete sentences jammed together without proper punctuation. Here you’d need a comma after “coat.” But wait! there’s more! The “TV reporter” also put his or her first set of quotation marks after “say,” when the quote actually starts before the ellipsis.

11) As an established on-air contributor and sought after media source, she has appeared on hundreds of TV and radio shows, such as, Good Morning America, Today, CNN, FOX & Friends, MSNBC, Dr. OZ, and has been quoted in Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Money Magazine, ShopSmart, Forbes and more.

Hyphenate “sought-after.”

What’s that comma doing after “as”?

Are both letters of “OZ” capitalized? (Got to look this stuff up!)

Where is “The” in front of both “Wall Street Journal” and “New York Times,” and why aren’t the titles in italics?

AND, is it Money magazine or Money Magazine? (Another thing to look up!)

12) Wes has written several books including You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think- The 5 Money Secrets Of The Happiest Retirees, his latest book which has been a best seller in the retirement planning category.

Horrible writing, just horrible. Let’s see: 1) comma after “books,” 2) italicize the title and lower case “of” and “the,” 3) what’s that nasty hyphen doing there?, 4)  comma after “book,” and 5) it’s bestseller—one word—as a noun.

13) He is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps Americans find easy ways to live on less without radically changing their lifestyles

Rule: Never hyphenate an —ly adverb. Plus, where’s the period?

14) I am so amazed many times over to find out that most business people is not taking better care of his or her body.

I am so amazed you didn’t bother to proof your writing before letting the whole world see such sloppiness! The noun drives the bus, people, and in this case the noun is “people,” which is plural, which means the verb should be are and you’ve got to say their bodies.

15) And if by “suckers” you mean people who care about the meaning of their brand (I own a VW Golf and I don’t think I will ever be able to look at it again in the same way) than yes again.

Well, at a minimum, you’ve misspelled “then.”

16) This is why we are, and need to be, outraged with VW, and why their act is not just about their cars – it is a betrayal of the social trust, and the trust fallout I suspect will have an impact on all German manufacturers and all car makers.

Again, a company is singular; a company is an it.

17) General questions are asked to help the individual tell their story spontaneously, always with a sensitivity and understanding of the tender nature of returning to the feelings that surround the memories of the experience.

The noun drives the bus. In this case, the noun is “the individual,” so you have to write “his or her story.” (You could also say “…help individuals tell their stories…”)

18) My father’s parents had past early on in my life.

Wow. It’s passed, not past. Plus, the phrase is “passed on,” so don’t confuse the issue by inserting “early” between the two words.

19) 94% of our authors’ and publishers’ sales come from our retail distribution network which includes iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, OverDrive, Oyster and Baker & Taylor Axis 360.

Do not start a sentence with a number if you can help it (and here, you certainly could); plus, spell out “percent” unless you are writing a technical paper, and stick a comma after “network.” Plus, is “Oyster and Baker & Taylor Axis 360” one business or two businesses or three businesses? Good Lord, give me a comma!

20) She is a go-to speaker for any business or organization wanting to bring creativity, motivation, ideas, and inspiration into the mix for their events.

Again. And again! “Business” and “organization” are singular nouns, so you have to write “its events.” Plus, I think it’d be stronger and more persuasive to say “every” business and organization, as opposed to “any.”

February 15 Quiz!

I went on a couple of “professional” speaker websites and came away with too much to post all in one go. Many of these sentences (or sentence groups) have more than one mistake, so don’t be shy! Answers—and more speaker sentences—next week.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy editing!

1) Earth, Wind & Fire were one of the most musically accomplished, critically acclaimed, and commercially popular funk bands of the ’70s. [From Pandora]
2) These are from a smoke and pet free home.
3) 20 Image’s Of The Titanic That’ll Give You Chills [Headline from Huffington Post]
4) Better Fitness In Middle Age May Stop One Of Your Organ’s From Shrinking [Headline from Huffington Post]
5) Friedman’s Shoes was the place where a man seven-feet tall with a size 22 foot could buy shoes the way everyone else does — right off the shelf.
6) In 1998, the NBA lockout, hit many of their best customers in the pocket.
7) Our team of experts are available to speak to your organization at no cost.
8) Toastmasters International, “Where Leaders Are Made” is the world’s largest non-profit educational organization dedicated entirely to improving leadership and communication skills.
9) His books include his latest titled “Things LEADERS Say: A Daily Guide to Help Every Leader Empower & Inspire”, and his award-winning business humor book “Kiss Your Customer: 77 Reasons Why Sales & Service Are Just Like Dating & Relationships”.
10) He is a Corporate Trainer, Author, Educator, Professional Coach, Adventure-Based Facilitator, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Compassion Fatigue Therapist, A Critical Incident Stress Debriefer with Specializations in Corporate Crisis Intervention for Workplace Violence, working with Victims and Families in the Wake of Mass Disasters, as well as after Domestic Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. He works with companies all over the world. His diversity of knowledge about people and group dynamics keep him in demand. He uses his expertise and educational understanding to help participants work together to increase performance and develop cohesiveness. He has given hundreds of presentations to Associations, Companies, Women’s Groups, Churches and School Students.
11) Carrie strength in Global Awareness and International Relations comes from being an Advocate for 31 International High School Exchange students from 13 different countries over a 5 years during their exchange year in the Tampa Bay Area.
12) She has appeared on many TV & Radio Interviews.
13) She shares a systemized strategy for achieving success beyond your wildest dreams that is based upon four foundational pillars – standards, discipline, accountability, and systems.
14) She delivers an inspirational, powerful message that motivates the audience to take action, change their mindset and empower others.
15) She is the first Hispanic Female to be hosting the podcast.
16) David’s keynote program is not so much a typical general session ‘speech’ as it is a full-blown high-energy one-man show.
17) Here you experience presentations by some of the best presenters the National Speaker Association has to offer and you get to interact with a wide range of accomplished professional speakers from the Central Florida area.
18) Please make sure to select the proper affiliation you have with our Chapter (different fee’s apply).
19) Our greatest marketing challenge is to know intimately what the client needs, what keyword phrases are important to THEM and also how we see ourselves.
20) He alls the “Findability” or industry experts call it SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
21) He is a top rated presenter, having delivered 100+ presentations to the CEO organization Vistage and scoring as their highest rated speaker.
22) The Global Speakers Federation (GSF) is the world-wide professional body serving the interests of their individual members while advancing the professional speaking community globally Through the relationships with member associations and global meetings industry partners, the GSF provides education to support the unique skills for presenting to audiences outside of the cultural and linguistic set of a speaker’s home country.