Punctuation and Grammar Quiz # 4, Questions and Answers.
You might notice that I am taking my sentences from websites that advertise the professional nature of their staffs’ writing; in other words, if your site offers copyediting services, or if you claim to be a best-selling author, or anything that remotely sets you up as a professional writer, then your stuff is fair game.
1. A great book can really create a strong platform, but one that is not crafted correctly can actually hurt a speakers creditability worse than if they had not written it all.
I’ll say! It’s speaker’s.
And, “a speaker” is singular; you can not use “they” with “a speaker.” It’s either “he or she” or go home.
2. From CEO of Yahoo Marissa Myer’s bio:
She graduated with honors from Stanford University with a B.S. in Symbolic Systems and a M.S. in Computer Science.
You’d think that Ms. Myer could get someone decent to proof her bio.
It’s an M. S., not a M.S.
3. You can’t however re-convert a JPG/PNG file that has been converted from a PSD back to a PSD file – it loses it’s layers.
This is quite nasty, with multiple mistakes. Let’s see:
- “However” needs commas around it
- That’s a hyphen between “file” and “it,” and you need a dash
- And there’s that dratted “it’s” mistake again. It’s its, not it’s!
Corrected: You can’t, however, re-convert a JPG/PNG file that has been converted from a PSD back to a PSD file—it loses its layers.
Does everyone know how to create a dash? It’s easy. Turn on your “Number Lock” function. Hold down ALT, then press 0151 on the number keyboard to the far right.
Good, now do it again.
4. From Grammarly.com:
a) There’s also the fact that a misspelled word makes the author look uneducated and unknowledgeable, and so the reader dismisses the work as unworthy of their attention.
I’ll say! I dismissed this immediately! “The reader” is singular; you can’t use the plural pronoun “their” with a singular noun!
b) Quotation marks come in singles (‘___’) or doubles (“___”), and they always come in sets of two.
This is a bald-faced LIE. Quotation marks do not always come in sets of two. In fact, if you pull one of your favorite novels off the shelf and find a long stretch of dialog, when a character speaks into a second paragraph, you’ll see that there is no “end quote” to close the paragraph, but the new paragraph starts with quotes.
c) In fiction, quotation marks are quite common as they go around all dialogue; in non-fiction they should be judiciously used around quotes to prove a point or support a thesis.
“Dialogue” is the British English spelling of dialog; “dialog” should be the preferred spelling for American writers.
And, it’s nonfiction—without the hyphen.
d) You can use a dash whenever you need to wake your reader up and let them know that the focus is changing.
Here’s that noun-pronoun thing again. Can it get any more basic? “Reader” is singular. You have to say “he or she” is you are going to gender neutral a noun. The easiest thing to do would be to say “wake your readers up.” But, the way it’s written, it’s wrong.
This site was so fruitful that I’ll come back to it.
5. Eric accepted a position as an Assistant State Attorney in Sarasota and Manatee Counties after being admitted to the Florida bar in 2005.
When two proper nouns are joined like this, the common noun (in this case, “county”) is not capitalized. It should read “Sarasota and Manatee counties.”
6. Professional Editors can also help improve the clarity and organization of ideas, and can insure consistency of voice and style.
What the heck? “Editors” is not a proper noun; the sentence should read “editors.”
Plus, do not use “insure” in any other context than insurance. The word this “professional” editor is looking for is “ensure.”
7. Content strategist so-and-so has suggested that a meaningful analysis of a user’s context requires not only an understanding of user goals, but also of their behaviors: What are they doing? How are they feeling? What are they capable of?
“A user.” Singular noun. “Their.” Plural pronoun. Incorrect. Four times incorrect!
8. A highly-regarded researcher, she published numerous articles in scholarly journals.
For pity’s sake. Hey all you “highly regarded” researchers: Never hyphenate an -ly adverb.