March 22 Editing Quiz with Answers!

It’s true I do make fun of some of the writing that I see. Yup, I plead guilty. But I only make fun of writing (and post it here) when the author is someone who should know better. Generally speaking, what I post here is basic stuff; you know, stuff that we all should know. If you claim to be an internationally known speaker, if you claim to be an editor, if you claim to be a web developer, then, frankly, your writing is fair game.  Hardly anything irks me more than people who brag about their writing prowess (and who, in the same breath, want you to spend big bucks on their book or on their system) but can’t punctuate worth a damn.

If you know your stuff, you have nothing to fear from me. If  you don’t, then I hope you find this helpful. Writing is a serious business; if you don’t know what you’re doing, then learn it or leave. I just hate sloppy people. Sloppy people give me a pain.

1. Yay! You’re now following Tiffany & Co. amethyst in your eBay Feed. You will receive email alerts for new listings.
Dont send me e-mail alerts. [Thanks to eBay for this gem.]
Multiple problems with these sentences. First, let’s all be consistent: don’t write “email” in one sentence and “e-mail” in the next. And, of course, “don’t” is misspelled.
2. Presentation beings at 8:30 pm!
Well, I couldn’t have asked for a better sentence to illustrate the importance of reviewing your writing prior to publishing. Obviously, “beings” should have been “begin.” Also, use PM or p.m., but never pm.
3. It has been speculated that instead of a shoeshine boy, the man stood at a a pump.
Wash your stuff through Word, everyone. It won’t catch everything—in fact, it won’t catch a lot—but Word will catch some real insidious mistakes, like, ahem, repeated words.
4. Anyway, here’s my answers to your most common questions.
Brother! “Here is” my answers? Really?
5. Through their proven systems for success, he and his team of certified coaches will work with any individual or organization to help them achieve their goals faster than they can ever imagine.
As a reminder, the 2 bonuses included are:
• BONUS #1: The Epic Book Launch Training System: ($597- -yours free)
Write, Publish, & Market Your Book
Secure the #1 Best-Seller Spot
Solidfy Yourself as an Authority
This is what you call a hot mess.
First, when you have two things that are connected by “or,” your verb and pronoun follow the last thing. If it’s singular, you go with singular verbs and pronouns; if plural, then plural nouns and pronouns. So here we have “individual or organization,” both of which are singular, so we have three incorrect pronouns, one after another after another.
Second, the style I’d suggest that everyone embrace is to spell out numbers from one to ten, and then use numerals thereafter.
Third, I hate those two hyphens sitting there, trying to masquerade as a dash. No, no.
Fourth, I do not approve of that ampersand. Not here. Not at all. Fifth, all is forgiven because of the hearty laugh I got in the “Authority” line. It’s impossible to be an “Authority” when you can’t spell “Solidify.” These people sent me this email, with the exact same spelling mistake, four times. And he wants me to spend money with him? Huh.
6. • BONUS #2: The Effective Communication Digital Training Kit: ($177- -yours free)
4 digital videos (more than 2 hours of video content)
2 MP3s (more than 2 hours of audio content)
1 206 page Ebook
1 12-page PDF Report
Again, a messy use of numbers and inconsistent use of hyphens. You’ve got those nasty double hyphens again and you should have a 206-page book. I think, but I’m not sure, that there were some e-book spellings, but I’d have to go back and check, and I’m not going back to that awful writing, ever again!
7. The Art Nouveau period was famous for it’s flowing organic designs, flowing ladies, flowing floral designs, regal designs.
Ah, the old “it’s” versus “its” mistake. Wow, how often do you see that?
8. These have been strategically chosen because they’re the perfect compliment for any successful speaker.
No, no, no. It’s complement, not compliment.
9. Please complete the form below to request for XYZ to be apart of your event.
What a difference a space makes! It’s a part, not apart. Totally different. Plus, I wouldn’t have said “to request for.” That is ugly. “To request that XYZ” would have been much better.
10. It wasn’t phenomenal skill that allowed XYZ to alter the course of his life. It’s was his Phenomenal Will!
“It’s was”?
11. If you haven’t already submitted your dues for July 1, 2015-June 30,2016, you may due so online.
Love those homonyms! Plus, there’s a missing space between the comma after 30 and the year.
12. The second recognized out chapter for reaching the highest per capita amount in the entire Florida Region.
You just have to review your work! A quick review would have (probably) caught the “out” for “our.”
13. When the clock strikes midnight tonight, you’ve lost the opportunity to get my step-by-step system behind success as a highly-paid professional speaker.
Do. Not. Hyphenate. An. –LY. Adverb. Never. Oh, hell, I missed the “opportunity”! I’ll never forgive myself.
14. Punctuation is the art of clarifying how a group of words falls together into contractions, clauses, and sentences. Unfortunately, it is not at all clear how some punctuation marks should be used!
As the kids say: WTF. I really don’t understand the first sentence, but I can tell you that the second sentence is a poster child for how not to use an exclamation point!
15. Rather than call out corruption and reassert the primacy of academic values, university presidents duck responsibility and cravenly feed the nation’s basketball “addiction”.
In American English, punctuation marks are always placed outside periods and commas. There are no exceptions. Since Britain is not known for its basketball, I’d say this was written by an American writer, for American readers, and so is incorrect.
16. BloqUV products block 98 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays. And their fabrics guarantee a minimum Ultraviolet Protection Factor of 50.
A company is an it. The company’s products are its products.
17. Walking on a sandy beach is so relaxing that it leads most people to walk further distances than they normally would.
People can’t walk “further distances.” People can walk “further” than they normally would, and they can walk “longer” distances, but they can’t walk “further distances.”
18. Gain confidence and clarity to melt fat quickly, easily and effectively from the scientifically-proven strategies of our 30+ world-renowned experts!
This sentence breaks the “never hyphenate an –ly adverb” rule, and I sure wouldn’t have used an exclamation point there.
19. It’s only about 3 minutes long, but it’s well-worth your time to watch.
No hyphen with well worth: it’s well worth your time to watch.

March 30, 2016 20-Question EDITING QUIZ!

Last week I joined a nationally known organization and, when I joined, I got its membership package, marketing materials, etc., etc. There were DOZENS of mistakes in the main package, which explained the various things that this organization offers that it claims will help me in my business. Well, my business is editing, and I consider that this organization has chalked up a big, fat F so far.  How can this organization help me when it’s just plain sloppy?

Do yourself a favor. Editing isn’t brain surgery, for all some people act like it’s just beyond their grasp. One of the biggest bugaboos in creating content is consistency. You can eliminate a substantial number of content errors by simply being consistent. For example, do you spell the name of your company the same way, every time it is displayed? I was just looking at a website developer’s content and couldn’t help but see that it shows its name three different ways: Tech+Dream, Tech + Dream, and tech+dream. (That’s not its name, but it’s close enough.) This is a company that is building websites and writing content for other businesses, but can’t even get its own act together. There were tons of other mistakes.

So, I can’t help but wonder and worry that I’m wasting my time with this new group I just joined. The members are great, and I really like the people I’ve met. And, we all know that shit rolls downhill. However, if I’d been shown the organization’s marketing material before I paid my $$, I bet I wouldn’t have joined.

Think people aren’t paying attention? Think again.

Well, enough whining! Here we go! Sharpen your pencils!

1) Headquartered in Miami, our operations are comprised of a nationally chartered bank, SUB, a wealth management division, SB&T, and an international branch of our parent company, BS.
2) When we ran into issues with our hosting company, we realized we needed a tech partner for our rapidly-growing business.
3) This open source platform has become the standard on the web due to it’s easy-to-manage backend, plugin architecture, and extensive scalability.
4) Here at ABC, we emphasize the importance of water in your body and how it affects your every day life.
5) We have over 12 years experience in helping businesses get to the next level by providing quality strategic marketing services.
6) Perfect for small to medium-sized companies who need to outsource their marketing department.
7) With over 12 years of experience in building great looking, search engine optimized, business-class websites, we know the steps that it takes to get your web site up and running quickly.
8) Clients who subscribe to the Monthly Marketing Packages enjoy knowing their clients are being strategically reached – while they go about doing their thing.
9) K*** Marketing + Media offers many mobile features designed specifically for small to mid-sized businesses.
10) What you’d need to know for your first call is that they are on the third Monday of the month.
11) Don’t blow off the calls because you are ‘too busy’.
12) During our recorded conference call, you’ll want to have an idea of what you’d like to focus on for the upcoming month (new services, new products, etc).
13) Sure, we could. But for you to be successful – you have to make time in order to help us grow with you and get your voice captured with a writer. Carving out time from your busy schedule to look at what you have – what’s missing, what’s needed, and what you are and are not saying. Be prepared to clearly communicate – pass over some notes, have a phone call, let us know what is happening when things happen. Communicate to us your ideas, your concepts, your goals, your hopes, your dreams, your fears, etc. will result in better, more clearly focused marketing thank you’ve experienced in the past.
14) We get to know them – through you. We need to know about your target audience to make each connection with your audience successful. Who that person is, their age group, their demographic, any details that you can provide up front for us about that person makes for a better message to that person. What are they like? What don’t they like? What are they interested in?
15) Do you do things around specific holidays or seasonally or what do you have happening that needs to be highly focused and prepped for when that time comes we have that already in place when the event takes place.
16) Block hours can be used in situations where more print or product related artwork is desired as well.
17) For Email Marketing (Constant Contact mailings): Three Constant Contact emails is included in your plan per month.
18) Another fee would be the Constant Contact monthly fee that charges directly to your credit card from Constant Contact themselves.
19) There’s twelve different sizes that could be created, depending on your budget and the goals of the ad.
20) Yes, it’s best to utilize the plan in it’s entirety.

IN MY OPINION, March 29, 2016

You know, I “get” that people have become more and more colloquial, more and more casual, in their conversation. It’s sort of like we’re all rushing towards the bottom. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The rise of the gangsta rapper as grammar authority.

However, there’s still no excuse for anyone with any pretension of education, erudition, or just plain old smarts to substitute the word “go” for the word “said.” “Go” is not synonymous with “said.”

He went, “I don’t care what Liz says.”

Then she goes, “Liz is a snob.”

Oh, boy, you have no idea.

Bottom line: Don’t talk like you’re stupid if you’re not; people might believe you.

March 14 Editing Quiz with ANSWERS!

1) ”You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”
Well, if you want to make a good first impression, watch the direction of your quotation marks and don’t forget the period at the end of your sentence! Two punctuation mistakes in one sentence is not going to impress anyone.
2) In 2003, Joker Marchant Stadium was renovated. The State of Florida’s $4.5 million grant was the biggest financing chuck, while the Polk County Tourist Development Council chipped in $2 million.
Another jewel from Wikipedia. If people can’t spell, don’t you think it, well, I dunno…hurts their credibility??
3) If for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase, simply return it for a refund (excluding shipping and handling) within 1-year of purchase date.
What’s that hyphen doing there?
4) He will give you practical tips on running a booth at a trade show, so many that you will go “I should have known that, why didn’t I do that!”.
Gee, I hope none of you ever, ever, ever use “go” for “said” like this. Ugh, talk about looking uneducated! Then there’s the nasty run-on sentence. But then, then my friends we see the rare bit of punctuation at the end. I don’t know what to call it, but it’s certainly not seen often! Never put periods outside quotation marks unless you are British, and never, ever use an exclamation point with a period. There are no circumstances in life when you’d do that.
Of these horrible mistakes, the one that just sends shivers down my spine, though, is that “go” for “said.” Wow. This is a candidate for World’s Worst Sentence! A real contender!
5) 4 Hour Workshop – in addition to everything covered in the two hour workshop, this interactive session will help you develop 30, 60 and 90 Second Infomercials to help you properly promote your business at trade shows and beyond, teach you how to Disengage the Tire Kickers, and help you develop Power Questions specific to your business.
Okay, again, multiple mistakes. When you don’t know one rule, the rule seems to be that you don’t know any.
Mistake #1: 4-hour Workshop. You need that hyphen because 4-Hour modifies “Workshop.”
Mistake #2: That would mean that it’s “2-hour workshop.”
Mistake #3: Hyphens are a mystery to this writer, so it’s not surprising that he or she doesn’t know the suspended hyphen rule, which means the sentence should read:
30-, 60-, and 90-second infomericals. (No caps: none of these words are proper nouns.)
Possible Mistake #4: I’m not sure if the phrases “Disengage Tire Kickers” and “Power Questions” refer to something specific that this speaker is offering, but, if so, the phrases should be in quotes; if not, lower case it all.
6) You’ll read about each author, how their speech came to be, the speech itself and the dissection of the speech which reveals the many techniques used to add humour that so many speakers overlook when giving presentations. There’s an old saying in the speaking business, “You don’t have to use humour… unless you want to get paid!”
Don’t say anything about “humour”—this guy is in Canada and so follows British English rules.
However, he has made the all-too-common mistake of not having his noun agree with his pronoun: each author is singular, and so the pronoun should be his or her speech.
7) Find out how to win the loyalty of employees and customers, how to stand out from the competition, how to make your workplace fun and enjoyable , and much more.
Got to watch those extra spaces! That dangling comma after “enjoyable” is so glaring that you can tell no one bothered to check the work.
8) Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll learn :
• How to build credibility, market and position yourself as an expert authority on your speaking subject matter.
• How to go from speaking for free to getting paid engagements
• How to reach a wider audience and deliver your message with impact
• How to set your speaker fees based on a simply formula
• How to find and book speaking engagements and get referrals
• And generating income a professional speaker
Three mistakes is this bullet point list:
Extra space after “learn” and the colon.
The first phrase has a period after it. Either they all do or none of them do, but you can’t mix it up.
The last item doesn’t follow the lead of the previous items.
9) Here’s just a taster of what you’ll get on this free training:
• How to build credibility, market and position yourself as an expert authority on your speaking subject matter.
• How to go from speaking for free to getting paid engagements
• How to reach a wider audience and deliver your message with impact
• How to set your speaker fees based on a simply formula
• How to find and book speaking engagements and get referrals
• And generating income a professional speaker
This is by the same people, and, gee, they made the same mistakes: first item has a period and the last item doesn’t “go” with the previous items.
However, they added a little wrinkle by introducing two typos into the mix! Do you see ’em? And these people are talking about professionalism! First line: “taster.” Fourth item: “simple” formula. Very sloppy.
10) The 6-Figure Speaker The Ultimate Blueprint To Build A Business As A Highly-Paid Professional Speaker
Never hyphenate an –ly adverb. I thought everyone knew this rule, but evidently not: this is the (published) book title and this mistake is on the cover. Right. There. On. The. Cover.
11) “ The 6 Figure Speaker Is Coming…”
Save the women and children, the 6-Figure Speaker is Coming! Well, there’s an extra space between the first quote and the first word. And there needs to be a hyphen in 6-Figure. And, don’t capitalize “it” in this situation.
12) His exciting talks and seminars on Leadership, Selling, Self-Esteem, Goals, Strategy, Creativity and Success Psychology bring about immediate changes and long-term results.
Why all the capitalization? None of these words are proper nouns.…
13) I want you to among the first to read it, it’s my way of showing my gratitude to the fact you’ve trusted me in your journey.
This is a great example of a comma splice. A comma splice happens when you link two complete sentences with just a comma. Here you have three options: make two complete sentences two by separating the (now) one sentence with a period; use a semicolon; or use a comma plus a conjunction like “and.” And, you don’t show gratitude “to,” you show gratitude “for.”
14) However, it’s only free for the next 36 hours, after that it’s going up to the full list price.
This is also a comma splice, but here the choice is simple: use a semicolon to link these two very related sentences.
15) And inside the book I reveal all the tips, tricks, strategies and secrets I’ve discovered and developed over a 30 year speaking career.
This should read 30-year speaking career. Got to have that hyphen.
16) There are four kinds of pauses you can use to put more power into your presentations. They are, “The Sense Pause”, “The Dramatic Pause”, “The Emphatic Pause”, and “The Sentence-Completion Pause”.
Wow. Where to start. Okay. No italics in this situation. None. Quotation marks are placed OUTSIDE periods and commas. And I would have stuck a colon after “presentations” and gone from there. Horrible.
17) If you want more tips like these, I’m launching a new book called the 6-Figure Speaker and I am taking reservations to get it absolutely free for the next few days. Click the the button below to learn more.
This is a terrific example of the power of putting your text into Word. Word catches those sneaky repeated words that are so so difficult to see!
18) It also gives you speaking cues, incase you lose your train of thought.
Hooray for Word! Again, lots of times it will help you catch a missing space. Why people don’t use Word before publishing is beyond me!
19) PLUS, I’m including FOUR additional FREE BONUS VIDEOS: “Effective Communication Signals”, so you can master eight hidden communication signals!
Wow, someone who can’t write or spell and who doesn’t know basic punctuation and grammar is going to give me FREE BONUS VIDEOS about how to master the eight hidden communication signals. Be still my heart!
Seriously, folks, quotation marks are always placed outside commas or periods in American English. Always.
20) Communicate your idea in a 2-4 minute video.
That hyphen is incorrect. When you want to show a range of something numeric, use an “n” dash, which can be created by holding down ALT and pressing 0150 in that order on the keyboard to your far right. You could also use the suspended hyphen rule: a 2- to 4-minute video.
21) Ensure that the production value of the the video is good.
Oh, those pesky repeated words! So easy to find if you stick your text into Word!

March 22 Editing Quiz!

It’s not just the “little guys” who make mistakes. Mistakes are all over. It’s really a shame.

  1. Yay! You’re now following Tiffany & Co. amethyst in your eBay Feed. You will receive email alerts for new listings.
    Dont send me e-mail alerts. [Thanks to eBay for this gem.]
  2. Presentation beings at 8:30 pm!
  3. It has been speculated that instead of a shoeshine boy, the man stood at a a pump.
  4. Anyway, here’s my answers to your most common questions.
  5. Through their proven systems for success, he and his team of certified coaches will work with any individual or organization to help them achieve their goals faster than they can ever imagine.
    As a reminder, the 2 bonuses included are:
    • BONUS #1: The Epic Book Launch Training System: ($597–yours free)
    Write, Publish, & Market Your Book
    Secure the #1 Best-Seller Spot
    Solidfy Yourself as an Authority
  6. • BONUS #2: The Effective Communication Digital Training Kit: ($177–yours free)
    4 digital videos (more than 2 hours of video content)
    2 MP3s (more than 2 hours of audio content)
    1 206 page Ebook
    1 12-page PDF Report
  7. The Art Nouveau period was famous for it’s flowing organic designs, flowing ladies, flowing floral designs, regal designs.
  8. These have been strategically chosen because they’re the perfect compliment for any successful speaker.
  9. Please complete the form below to request for XYZ to be apart of your event.
  10. It wasn’t phenomenal skill that allowed XYZ to alter the course of his life. It’s was his Phenomenal Will!
  11. If you haven’t already submitted your dues for July 1, 2015-June 30,2016, you may due so online.
  12. The second recognized out chapter for reaching the highest per capita amount in the entire Florida Region.
  13. When the clock strikes midnight tonight, you’ve lost the opportunity to get my step-by-step system behind success as a highly-paid professional speaker.
  14. Punctuation is the art of clarifying how a group of words falls together into contractions, clauses, and sentences. Unfortunately, it is not at all clear how some punctuation marks should be used!
  15. Rather than call out corruption and reassert the primacy of academic values, university presidents duck responsibility and cravenly feed the nation’s basketball “addiction”.
  16. BloqUV products block 98 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays. And their fabrics guarantee a minimum Ultraviolet Protection Factor of 50.
  17. Walking on a sandy beach is so relaxing that it leads most people to walk further distances than they normally would.
  18. Gain confidence and clarity to melt fat quickly, easily and effectively from the scientifically-proven strategies of our 30+ world-renowned experts!
  19. It’s only about 3 minutes long, but it’s well-worth your time to watch.

March 7 Editing QUIZ PLUS ANSWERS!

1) But instead, he has defeated attitude.
Frankly, to me, he comes off unprofessional.
No surprise that these two sentences are from the same writer (I will not call this person an “author.”) Okay, first thing: no italics. Italics is for emphasis and not appropriate here. Also, italics should be used sparingly, and this person littered his content with italics. Second thing: each sentence seems to be missing something…a word, perhaps? You can’t have “defeated attitude,” but you can have “a defeated attitude.” You can’t come off “unprofessional,” but you can come off “as unprofessional,” which I believe this person has done amazingly well. Plus, and last thing, “come off” is too colloquial for anything but conversation.

2) Last week I sent out an email about how poorly Carolina Panther’s Quarterback, Cam Newton, handled his interview after the Super Bowl.
Lots of little things doom this sentence. I would have said “the” Carolina Panthers. Quarterback is not a proper noun and shouldn’t be capitalized. Do the Panthers only have one quarterback? I bet they have a couple, so I would not have enclosed the name of this quarterback in commas. See, the name is what’s called “parenthetical information,” and so should be removable without confusing the reader.

3) Housed in Orlando’s popular East End Market, Bookmark It was designed to compliment East End’s eat/shop local philosophy and features books that not only support the destination’s other vendors and workshops, but provides a platform, both via shelf space and events, for Central Florida’s writing community…or, as they coined it, our “locally grown words.”
This is a huge misspelling and indefensible content from a book store: the word is spelled complement.

Pus, there’s the “not…but” clause here. No commas in a “not…but” or “not only…but” clause.

4) It is comprised of a jacket and a skirt.
No, no. Larger things are composed of smaller things: a suit is composed of pieces. A jacket and skirt can comprise a suit. “Comprised of” is never correct.

5) Sree often describes his work as “operating a startup in a 150-year old organization”.
Multiple mistakes. Commas and periods are always placed inside quotation marks in American English. There are no exceptions. Also, there’s a hyphen problem: this should read 150-year-old organization.

6) Note: Each person will be responsible for their own meal.
Remember: the noun drives the bus. “Each person” is singular, and so needs a singular pronoun, which means you’ve got to say “his or her” own meal.

7) His fun, fast-paced presentation will give attendees several actionable tips to use right away – how to incorporate innovative technologies, engage partners and drive change for the organization’s greater good.
Here’s a great example of when to use a colon. This is the “namely” rule: when you are about to present a list of items or elaborate on what you’ve just said and you could use “namely,” you use a colon. Lots of time a colon is triggered by a sentence that contains something like “The number one reason to use our product,” or “There are five rules you need to follow,” or, as in this case, “There are several actionable tips [namely] this, that, and the other thing.”
In this situation, the writer used a dash. A dash creates a full stop, and the material after the dash should be related but separate-able. If there are two dashes, the material inside the dashes should be material that could be removed from the sentence and the sentence should still make sense.
Since this sentence contains a list, the list should be preceded by a colon.

8) Deanna Walker, a nationally recognized community engagement expert will share tools for building communities, the impact of social media and essential strategies for marketing and engaging diverse audiences.
Here’s an example of a missing comma. Remember, when there is a pair of commas, dashes, or parentheses (which have to come in pairs), you must be able to remove all the information inside and still have a workable sentence. The information inside the commas, dashes, or parentheses is called parenthetical information. Here we have a name, information about the person named, and further information. Okay. Who is “Deanna Walker”? Why, she’s a “nationally recognized community engagement expert.” (Whatever that is.) So you’d need a comma after “expert” because that phrase explains who Ms. Walker is, but is not necessary to the sentence.

9) We are the world’s largest business networking, referrals and word of mouth marketing organization.
I don’t like this sentence one bit. “Word-of-mouth” should have been hyphenated. “Referrals” should be singular. And, because these are all coordinate adjectives modifying “organization,” they should all be separated by a comma: business networking, referral, and word-of-mouth marketing organization.

10) Are you ready to start connecting with you client via mobile marketing for your product or services?
Well, major miss on “your” client. Plus, I’d use “clients,” since everyone needs more than one.

11) Someone looking for a change or improvement for themselves or their business
This is a sentence fragment, not a complete sentence, and so should be rewritten. Aside from the missing period, remember: the noun drive the bus. Here we have “someone,” which is singular, and you can’t pair a singular noun with a plural pronoun: someone looking for him- or herself or his or her business. Such a drag! Use “people” instead and it smooths out a bit.

12) Enter search information below and select “Find”.
Quotation marks are always placed outside periods and commas in American English. Geez.

13) The philosophy of our organization is built upon the idea of “Givers Gain”.
When you have someone editing your website who doesn’t know the rules, you can count on the fact that that person will make the same mistake over and over and over again.

14) In their written complaint, Mr. Bollea’s lawyers called the posting a “massive, highly-intrusive and long-lasting invasion of Mr. Bollea’s privacy” and claimed that at least seven million people had viewed it.
Never hyphenate an –ly adverb: I hope the lawyers didn’t exactly say “highly-intrusive”!

15) To proceed, open your download folder and locate the Adobe Flash Player Installer file, named like “FlashPlayer.exe”.
COMMAS AND PERIODS ARE always PLACED INSIDE quotation marks in American English.

16) “A person can look put together without appearing too rigid or too extravagant, “says Adolfo.
Ah, Adolfo might have manufactured the world’s coolest ladies’ clothes back in the day, but he needs to watch his quotation marks. These directional quotation marks need to face “inside” at the beginning of a sentence and “away” at the end. There’s an extra space after the comma, which triggered the wrong-way quotation mark.

17) She earned a Degree in criminal justice administration at Florida International University and Master’s Degree in human resource administration from St. Thomas University.
“Degree” is not a proper noun and should not be capitalized.

18) Join Kim Cavendish, President/ CEO of the Museum of Discovery and Science for a warm welcome to Convening Culture 2016 served alongside light food and drink {cash bar}.
I’d rewrite this sentence entirely, but the point of showing it is to say that there are virtually no circumstances in American English in which you’d use a pair of what are called “braces.” Braces are used primarily in music and in poetry and in such rare occasions that I can’t think of one offhand. (And this isn’t one of them!) Parentheses were what was needed here.

19) Join Florida’s Secretary of State, Ken Detzner and members of the Florida Council on Arts and Culture to celebrate the remarkable career achievements and impact of two exceptional Florida artists being inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame – Jane Davis Doggett and Romero Britto.

Dump the comma between Secretary of State and Mr. Detzner’s name, since that creates confusion: will you be joining Florida’s Secretary of State and Mr. Detzner?

20) Attendees will choose one intensive session presented by nationally-recognized experts.

Never hyphenate an –ly adverb.

 

March 14 Editing QUIZ

“Professional” speakers are among the last people to recognize the importance of proper presentation, which, when you think about it, is hard to understand, and especially so when you get to the upper reaches of speakers—the people with serious speaking chops. It’s those people that the rest of us should be able to consider the industry’s leaders. But when  you go on to a speaker’s website and see a boatload of misspelled words or you get an email from a “World Champion” and see glaring punctuation and grammar mistakes, what are you supposed to think? Using proper punctuation and grammar in internet content, books, and other promotional materials is just like wearing clean clothes, in my opinion; otherwise, you stink. I did stick a non-speaker sentence in here—a sentence I found online while researching a program I presented last week—but, really, these sentences are from people who you’d think would know better and care more.

Attention professional speakers:

please show leadership.

1) ”You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”
2) In 2003, Joker Marchant Stadium was renovated. The State of Florida’s $4.5 million grant was the biggest financing chuck, while the Polk County Tourist Development Council chipped in $2 million.
3) If for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase, simply return it for a refund (excluding shipping and handling) within 1-year of purchase date.
4) He will give you practical tips on running a booth at a trade show, so many that you will go “I should have known that, why didn’t I do that!”.
5) 4 Hour Workshop – in addition to everything covered in the two hour workshop, this interactive session will help you develop 30, 60 and 90 Second Infomercials to help you properly promote your business at trade shows and beyond, teach you how to Disengage the Tire Kickers, and help you develop Power Questions specific to your business.
6) You’ll read about each author, how their speech came to be, the speech itself and the dissection of the speech which reveals the many techniques used to add humour that so many speakers overlook when giving presentations. There’s an old saying in the speaking business, “You don’t have to use humour… unless you want to get paid!”
7) Find out how to win the loyalty of employees and customers, how to stand out from the competition, how to make your workplace fun and enjoyable , and much more.

8) Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll learn :
• How to build credibility, market and position yourself as an expert authority on your speaking subject matter.
• How to go from speaking for free to getting paid engagements
• How to reach a wider audience and deliver your message with impact
• How to set your speaker fees based on a simply formula
• How to find and book speaking engagements and get referrals
• And generating income a professional speaker

9) Here’s just a taster of what you’ll get on this free training:
• How to build credibility, market and position yourself as an expert authority on your speaking subject matter.
• How to go from speaking for free to getting paid engagements
• How to reach a wider audience and deliver your message with impact
• How to set your speaker fees based on a simply formula
• How to find and book speaking engagements and get referrals
• And generating income a professional speaker

10) The 6-Figure Speaker The Ultimate Blueprint To Build A Business As A Highly-Paid Professional Speaker
11) “ The 6 Figure Speaker Is Coming…”
12) His exciting talks and seminars on Leadership, Selling, Self-Esteem, Goals, Strategy, Creativity and Success Psychology bring about immediate changes and long-term results.
13) I want you to among the first to read it, it’s my way of showing my gratitude to the fact you’ve trusted me in your journey.
14) However, it’s only free for the next 36 hours, after that it’s going up to the full list price.
15) And inside the book I reveal all the tips, tricks, strategies and secrets I’ve discovered and developed over a 30 year speaking career.
16) There are four kinds of pauses you can use to put more power into your presentations. They are, “The Sense Pause”, “The Dramatic Pause”, “The Emphatic Pause”, and “The Sentence-Completion Pause”.
17) If you want more tips like these, I’m launching a new book called the 6-Figure Speaker and I am taking reservations to get it absolutely free for the next few days. Click the the button below to learn more.
18) It also gives you speaking cues, incase you lose your train of thought.
19) PLUS, I’m including FOUR additional FREE BONUS VIDEOS: “Effective Communication Signals”, so you can master eight hidden communication signals!
20) Communicate your idea in a 2-4 minute video.
21) Ensure that the production value of the the video is good.

IN MY OPINION, March 7, 2016

“In the book, you talk about having been a trio with two other girlfriends who got married at the same time; as all of you guys saw it to some degree, they’d moved on together, leaving you behind.”

—Jia Tolentino, http://jezebel.com/marriage-changes-when-you-dont-just-need-a-warm-body-an-1762007106

 

As much as I enjoyed this article, I have a real problem with this language. Perhaps younger people would have no issues with this, but, as a middle-aged woman, I have a serious problem with being addressed as a “guy.” Think about it.  A “guy” is a colloquial term for a young man.

If you are addressing a group with women in it, be careful that you don’t address the group as “guys,” especially if you are trying to sell something, whether that something is a product, a service, or the fact that you are a credible authority about whatever it is that you are speaking about. You could say “you,” “you all,” “you folks,” whatever, but don’t call a woman a “guy.” I ain’t no guy.

And boy, oh, boy, do I hate being addressed as one!

March 7 Editing Quiz!

1) But instead, he has defeated attitude.
Frankly, to me, he comes off unprofessional.

2) Last week I sent out an email about how poorly Carolina Panther’s Quarterback, Cam Newton, handled his interview after the Super Bowl.

3) Housed in Orlando’s popular East End Market, Bookmark It was designed to compliment East End’s eat/shop local philosophy and features books that not only support the destination’s other vendors and workshops, but provides a platform, both via shelf space and events, for Central Florida’s writing community…or, as they coined it, our “locally grown words.”

4) It is comprised of a jacket and a skirt.

5) Sree often describes his work as “operating a startup in a 150-year old organization”.

6) Note: Each person will be responsible for their own meal.

7) His fun, fast-paced presentation will give attendees several actionable tips to use right away – how to incorporate innovative technologies, engage partners and drive change for the organization’s greater good.

8) Deanna Walker, a nationally recognized community engagement expert will share tools for building communities, the impact of social media and essential strategies for marketing and engaging diverse audiences.

9) We are the world’s largest business networking, referrals and word of mouth marketing organization.

10) Are you ready to start connecting with you client via mobile marketing for your product or services?

11) Someone looking for a change or improvement for themselves or their business

12) Enter search information below and select “Find”.

13) The philosophy of our organization is built upon the idea of “Givers Gain”.

14) In their written complaint, Mr. Bollea’s lawyers called the posting a “massive, highly-intrusive and long-lasting invasion of Mr. Bollea’s privacy” and claimed that at least seven million people had viewed it.

15) To proceed, open your download folder and locate the Adobe Flash Player Installer file, named like “FlashPlayer.exe”.

16) “A person can look put together without appearing too rigid or too extravagant, “says Adolfo.

17) She earned a Degree in criminal justice administration at Florida International University and Master’s Degree in human resource administration from St. Thomas University.

18) Join Kim Cavendish, President/ CEO of the Museum of Discovery and Science for a warm welcome to Convening Culture 2016 served alongside light food and drink {cash bar}.

19) Join Florida’s Secretary of State, Ken Detzner and members of the Florida Council on Arts and Culture to celebrate the remarkable career achievements and impact of two exceptional Florida artists being inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame – Jane Davis Doggett and Romero Britto.

20) Attendees will choose one intensive session presented by nationally-recognized experts.

February 22 Editing Quiz with ANSWERS!

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.
Remember the issue about noun-pronoun agreement. Here we have “each member” as our singular noun, but the writer used the plural pronoun “their.” Either write “his or her company,” or “all members.” Right now, though, this is incorrect.

2) Program Features Include: [What’s wrong with this heading?]
Never put a colon after “including,” “includes,” or “include.”

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.
Here’s someone sticking a dash in where a colon is needed. It’s the “namely” rule of colons, and the easiest (in my opinion) rule to remember in conjunction with a colon. Look back at the sentence and read it like this: Get feedback on your toughest decisions from the chief CEO’s most effective sounding board [namely] fellow executives….
Hey. Lemme ask you a question: why is “chief” in that sentence? Take it o-u-t.

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.
Ooops. Here’s another incorrect use of a colon. Two ways to correct this. You could stick your colon after “business” and remove  “including,” or you could put a comma after “business” and remove the colon. The way it stands now, though, it’s wrong.

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.
A company is an “it,” and is singular, so this should read “its entertainment….”

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.
Gee, this is a hell of a long sentence. However, here’s the issue: should “private advisory board” be capitalized? Looking at Sentence #1, it would seem that it is a special something that these Vistage people believe is part of what makes them so wonderful, so there could be a case for “Vistage Private Advisory Board.” You have to decide that style issue and be consistent.

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.
Need a space between the comma and October. Spellcheck picked that up. Rule: Always put your writing into Word or another word- processing program with a spellcheck function before you hit “publish.”

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.
No, no, no! Larger things are composed of smaller things: a jury is composed of jurors, a forest is composed of trees, but small things comprise larger things.
Plus, what in the world is “kinesiotaping”? And, to be brutally frank, I hate the phrase “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.
“Black” capitalized in this context is incorrect because it is not a proper noun. (Neither is “brown,” “white,” “red,” or “yellow.”) And what’s with the sentence fragment with semicolons? Yikes.

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.
Look at that colon and read “namely.” That’s correct. However, I would not have capitalized “In” because, well, two reasons. First, what follows the colon is not a principle or rule. Second, it’s not a full sentence. The real, bona fide, no discussion mistake here, however, is hyphenating the —ly adverb in “nationally-televised.”

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.
Wow, people, be consistent in your style, especially when you’re throwing around advanced degrees in the same sentence. You cannot write “Ph.d.” and “PhD.” in the same essay/article/book/whatever, much less in the same sentence, because it makes you look stupid—always especially unfortunate when you’re writing about advanced educational degrees.
But this sentence also features the mistake of placing the colon after “including,” which we’ve discussed, and comes with the added bonus of being the winner of this week’s mushy phrase award (and there was intense competition!): “medical specialist masters.” What’s a “medical specialist master”?

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.
Here’s another example of the importance of putting your writing into some sort of spellcheck function before you print: it’s its, not it’s, eclectic collection. That’s the most common mistake ever, but it’s showing up as needing attention by my spellcheck.
What spellcheck didn’t catch, however, was the misspelled word in this group of sentences. Look at the last sentence again. I’m not going to belabor the serial comma issue, but in this situation “compliment” is misspelled. It should be “complement.”

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!
Very bad writing. The comma before the parenthesis is huge (it should be after), and don’t assume your readers know—before you brag about size—where “Manchester United” is. I know, in a vague sort of way, that it’s in Britain somewhere, but that’s it.
Then you’ve got the run-on sentence, with the clause about him, the clause about her, and then the third clause about how wonderful they are, and no commas to help along the way.
And what’s with all the capitalization? I hate when people brag and go on and on about how great they are and capitalize the least little thing. Makes ‘em look like idiots.

14) Professor Rakesh and I wrote the book after many discussions on how pressure affects sportsman and woman, and what business people could learn from sport.
What? “Sportsman and woman”? No! The singular is incorrect in a big way, and you’ve got to use the suspended hyphen rule. This should read “sportsmen and -women.”
And I don’t have “discussions on,” I have “discussions about.” But that’s just me.

15) Five years demonstrated ability to effectively lead, supervise, train, and develop staff and manage conflict resolution.
You see this mistake all the time, so be careful if you find yourself writing about someone’s experience. If you don’t follow “years” with “of,” you’ve got to write “years” as a plural possessive: “years’.”

16) (Please clearly mark the packages you send to jurors “FLORIDA BOOK AWARD ENTRY”.
When you call for submissions for a book awards, it’s sort of important to get your writing right, don’t you think? Multiple, basic, and glaring mistakes in this one sentence. First off, where’s the second parenthesis? Secondly, quotation marks are ALWAYS placed OUTSIDE periods and commas. And these people are going to be judging my editing book Before You Even Open Your Mouth: Business Writing for Professional Speakers? Wow.

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).
E.G. and I.E. are always followed by a comma.

18) Seven years experience in higher education, development, fund raising or equivalent experience in a non-profit institution.
Hey, it takes careful writing to make three mistakes in one sentence!
We just learned the rule about “years” and the plural possessive. Since “years” is not followed by “of,” then this should read “years’.” (Spellcheck picked that up.) “Fundraising” is one word. And nonprofit isn’t hyphenated.

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.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Modern mush-talk. What’s a “configurable talent development approach”? But my real problem is noun-pronoun agreement. We’ve got the collective noun “team,” which is treated as a singular noun, and so takes a singular pronoun, which should be “it.” If you think it sounds cold to characterize a group of people as an “it,” then you’ve got plenty of possible work-arounds: team members, teammates, staff members, staffers, audience members, and so on.
Plus, if you go back the Sentence #1 in this group, notice that “Program” is capitalized there but not here. Continuity is a huge issue in writing. I’d want to decide on the style of the issue: for this company, when is “program” capitalized and when is it not capitalized? Once the style is established, then I’d want to review this entire website to ensure continuity. Page after page, document after document, you have to be consistent. It’s easier to deal with style first, and pass around the style sheet to all your writers.

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.
Call me stupid, but I have no idea what a “functional silo” is or why it should be “broken down.” My big problem (again) is referring to a “team” as “them.” Can’t do it, folks. I also hate these trendy words like “align,” and “empower,” and, well, I guess I’ll give “collaboration” a pass, but with all these other mushy words jammed in it’s easy to throw out the baby with the bath water.