EditNATION.com Punctuation and Grammar Quiz #1

EditNATION.com Weekly Quiz #1
Questions and answers.
1. Evernote wasn’t exactly a globally-recognized brand at that point.

2. One awesome way to keep your fan base happy and engaged is to give them gifts.

3. Begin by completing the items under “Your Inbound Marketing Foundation”.

4. The team lacked a background in marketing and had no formal strategy on how to connect with their users or visitors.

5. Throughout the research process, they evaluated three providers, but in the end, chose us due to comfortability during the trial period and ease of use.

6. The school was founded as a nonprofit organization and graduated it’s first class in 1947.

EditNATION.com Quiz #4 Punctuation and Grammar Quiz

Punctuation and Grammar Quiz, Week 4.
Let’s test your editing chops! What’s wrong with the sentences below? Answers follow next week.
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.
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.
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.
4. From Grammarly.com:
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.
Quotation marks come in singles (‘___’) or doubles (“___”), and they always come in sets of two.
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.
You can use a dash whenever you need to wake your reader up and let them know that the focus is changing.
5. Eric accepted a position as an Assistant State Attorney in Sarasota and Manatee Counties after being admitted to the Florida bar in 2005.
6. Professional Editors can also help improve the clarity and organization of ideas, and can insure consistency of voice and style.
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?
8. A highly-regarded researcher, she published numerous articles in scholarly journals.

EditNATION.com blog, January 13, 2015: The #2 Punctuation Mistake on My Hit Parade.

So, the most commonly made mistake in American English punctuation and grammar is using it’s for its and vice versa. It’s is not the possessive of it; rather, it’s is the contraction of it is or it has. Its is the possessive of it. Okay!
And now for the second most commonly made mistake in American English punctuation and grammar: In American English, commas and periods always go INSIDE quotation marks. There. Are. No. Exceptions.
The woods are full of people who don’t know this rule.
1) The beans are cooked in cast-iron at high heat, “pan-charred”, according to the Lee brothers, which renders them crunchy, toasty, and a little smoky.
2) His dislikes include hangnails, the phrase “YOLO”, really large malls, and Billy Corgan. [Please, never use the word “hangnails” in professional content.]
3) Can you command a technical conversation with the C-Suite? If your answer was, “yes”, let’s talk! [There are several things wrong with this sentence in addition to the comma being outside the quotation marks: it’s C-suite, not C-Suite, and there shouldn’t be a comma after was.]
4) Juliann combines an open and welcoming personality, contagious sense of humor and astute head for business that has propelled her to be consistently approached as an expert in personal and business branding and being the “CEO of YOU”. [Here’s another good example of multiple punctuation mistakes in a single sentence, from the website of an “expert.”]
5) Survival. The following sections shall survive the expiration or termination of this Agreement: ‘Revenue Share and Payment’, ‘Proprietary Rights’, ‘Confidentiality’, ‘Effects of Termination/Expiration’, ‘Indemnification’, ‘Disclaimers; Limitation of Liability’, ‘Non-Solicitation’ and ‘General’.
This last sentence, with its heightened importance because of all the scary legalese, is especially bad. Not only should quotation marks follow the commas in all items in this list (and follow the period after “General”) but double quotes (“”) should have been used, not single quotes (‘’). If you use double quotes and have to use quotes inside the double quotes, then you use single quotes, but you don’t come right out of the gate with single quotes.
Please tune back in for more punctuation and grammar information. This is interesting stuff!

EditNATION.com Quiz #3 Questions and Answers!

Week #3 Sentences and Answers.
1) Online Shopping is one of the more popular industries now a day.
A couple of things are wrong with this sentence.
First, “Online Shopping” is not a proper noun, and so should read “Online shopping,” with a capital “O” only because “online” starts the sentence.
Second, “now a day” is misspelled: it should be “nowadays.”
Corrected, the sentence reads:
Online Shopping is one of the more popular industries nowadays.
2) To remove the underline from all links on your website, you can edit the default anchor style in your CSS stylesheet so that the ‘text-decoration’ property has a value of ‘none’.
Two things. First, in American English, always start with double quotation marks for quotes. Second, quotation marks—single or double—are always (always) placed outside (outside) commas and periods. There are no exceptions.
3) He enjoys spending time with his wife Lace, their teenage daughters Kaitlin & Amy and their 3 dogs Buster, Bellatrix and Tank. His interests include his 100 gallon saltwater reef tank, disc golf, camping, fishing and rooting for The Florida Gators & New York Giants!
This passage is a hot mess, so awful it’s difficult to know where to start.
First off, an ampersand (&) is inappropriate for anything other than a business name, i.e., Johnson & Johnson; do not use an ampersand in “regular” writing.
Okay. First sentence. The names of the wife and daughters are parenthetical, and so should be enclosed with commas. You should use a dash (—) to separate the dogs’ names, and let’s add a serial comma. Also, you can’t change pronouns (from his to their) in mid-stream; it’s got to be “his” daughters, unless it’s rewritten, which is what I’m going to do. So:
He enjoys spending time with his wife, Lace, and their teenage daughters, Kaitlin and Amy, and their three dogs—Buster, Bellatrix, and Tank.
Second sentence. Let’s see: 100-gallon needs a hyphen; “The” isn’t capitalized; take out the ampersand; add a serial comma; and I’d go with a period, not an exclamation point, to conclude. Like so:
His interests include his 100-gallon saltwater reef tank, disc golf, camping, fishing, and rooting for the Florida Gators and New York Giants.
4) Personalize based on where a visitor is in their buying process, so your loyal customers experience a different website than first-time visitors.
“A visitor” is singular, “their” is plural. You just can’t do this, folks.
5) First lets talk about the reputation of an email sender. The most basic form of reputation is called a “sender score”.
Two things: “let’s” needs an apostrophe, and the quotation mark needs to be outside the period.
6) Display content in the visitors native language
If your company and product is global, it’s important to consider your audience and buyers from other countries. For example, if you are located in the United States and your entire site is in English, but you have strong interest in your product from visitors in Germany, consider creative a native version of your homepage and landing pages.
Two things: “visitors” needs an apostrophe (I’d go with “visitor’s”—singular possessive—but would have said “visitors’”—plural possessive—if the sentence had read “your visitors’”), and then there’s that misspelled word. Do you see it? Hint: starts with a “c.”
7) For example, if your contact list includes visitors first names you could easily change the headline within your page to something like: “Great to see you at the event, Mark. We’re glad you could join us”.
Again, visitors needs an apostrophe (visitors’), and the period goes inside the quotation mark.
8) Begin by completing the items under “Your Inbound Marketing Foundation”.
Start by naming your campaign, e.g. “Lead Generation for Small Business Owners – Jan 14”.
Three things: Well, in my opinion, four. First and last, put the periods inside the quotation marks, not outside. Put a comma after “e.g.”—always. (Ditto “i.e.”) And, I don’t like spaces before and after dashes, but that is a style issue.
9) “Everybody — salespeople, marketers, customer and prospects — have been impressed with the our website because we’re using the company’s COS.”
Two huge mistakes. “Everybody” is singular, and so the sentence should read “has,” not “have.” The rule is that parenthetical information, whether between commas, parentheses, or dashes, does not affect the subject. The subject is “everybody,” and “everybody” is singular. And then there’s the other nasty mistake that no one spotted before putting it on the company’s homepage. Do you see it? It is critical that you take a moment and read over your content before posting it.
10) Aside from being great people, their team are some of the smartest inbound marketers I know and are always putting the customer’s needs first.
Another huge mistake. “Team” is a collective noun, and is singular. The sentence should read “their team is,” and since that’s awkward, I would have written “their team is composed of some of the….”

EditNATION.com Punctuation and Grammar Quiz #3

Let’s test your editing chops.

What’s wrong with these sentences?

1) Online Shopping is one of the more popular industries now a day.

2) To remove the underline from all links on your website, you can edit the default anchor style in your CSS stylesheet so that the ‘text-decoration’ property has a value of ‘none’.

3) He enjoys spending time with his wife Lace, their teenage daughters Kaitlin & Amy and their 3 dogs Buster, Bellatrix and Tank. His interests include his 100 gallon saltwater reef tank, disc golf, camping, fishing and rooting for The Florida Gators & New York Giants!

4) Personalize based on where a visitor is in their buying process, so your loyal customers experience a different website than first-time visitors.

5) First lets talk about the reputation of an email sender. The most basic form of reputation is called a “sender score”.

6) Display content in the visitors native language
If your company and product is global, it’s important to consider your audience and buyers from other countries. For example, if you are located in the United States and your entire site is in English, but you have strong interest in your product from visitors in Germany, consider creative a native version of your homepage and landing pages.

7) For example, if your contact list includes visitors first names you could easily change the headline within your page to something like: “Great to see you at the event, Mark. We’re glad you could join us”.

8) Begin by completing the items under “Your Inbound Marketing Foundation”.
Start by naming your campaign, e.g. “Lead Generation for Small Business Owners – Jan 14”.

9) “Everybody — salespeople, marketers, customer and prospects — have been impressed with the our website because we’re using the company’s COS.”

10) Aside from being great people, their team are some of the smartest inbound marketers I know and are always putting the customer’s needs first.

EditNation.com blog: The #1 Punctuation Mistake that It’s Tough to Avoid.

November 24, 2014
Today I want to talk about the first of the “Top 10 Punctuation and Grammar Mistakes” that I see people making all over the place. Hands down, the most common mistake I see is people using it’s for its, and vice versa.
The issue is counterintuitive in American English, since most possessives are formed with an apostrophe.
It’s = it is or it has
It’s is the contraction of it is or it has.
Its = the possessive of it.
Sometimes the only way I can remember something is to say: it’s the opposite of what I think it should be. This is one of those instances.
Wrong:
Whether its a classic Snickerdoodle cookie or a retro Blueberry Lemonade scone, there’s sure to be a sweet treat for you!

Wrong:
With 100% of respondents claiming there was a desire for greater alignment between Sales and Marketing its clear the industry has a problem maintaining harmony between these two teams.
It’s such a basic mistake that every time I publish a manuscript I do a search for “its” and “it’s,” and check and double-check.
It’s such a basic mistake that I’m going to name it the #1 punctuation mistake in my hit parade. It’s a new year, so let’s all try to be more careful with it’s and it!

EditNATION.com Quiz #2: Questions and Answers!

1. If you don’t mind getting kicked around now and then and love data-driven hard core info, then you’re going to become a fan of ConversionXL.
The problems with this sentence stem from the “data-driven hard core” adjectives. First, one compound adjective—data-driven—is hyphenated, but both should be hyphenated because they are in front of the noun (info) that they modify. Second, these are coordinate adjectives, and so need a comma between them: data-driven, hard-core. To determine whether adjectives are coordinate, follow this two-step rule:
1. Can you place and between the two adjectives and still have the sentence make sense?
2. Can you switch the order of the adjectives and still have the sentence make sense?
If you answer yes to both questions, you’ve got to place a comma between the adjectives.
Corrected, the sentence reads: If you don’t mind getting kicked around now and then and love data-driven, hard-core info, then you’re going to become a fan of ConversionXL.
2. But the truth is, LinkedIn can be extremely powerful – – especially when you’re aware of all the little hidden tricks that don’t get nearly enough exposure as they deserve.
Two hyphens do not equal a dash. A dash is formed by turning on the Number Lock, holding down Alt, and using the number keys to the far right in this order: 0 1 5 1. Plus, no spaces before or after a dash.
But the truth is, LinkedIn can be extremely powerful—especially when you’re aware of all the little hidden tricks that don’t get nearly enough exposure as they deserve.
3. “We were really taken by this story of a mild-mannered guy who was quietly revolutionizing his field.” he said.
That’s a period after field, and you need a comma.
4. “That has it’s place as well – – it’s very very valuable content, but it’s not for us.”
This is a very ugly sentence, with no fewer than four editing mistakes. First off, this writer has used two types of quotation marks. Then, he or she has fallen afoul of the it’s versus its mistake. Those are two hyphens (with spaces) instead of a dash. And, finally, you must put a comma between repeated adjectives.
Corrected, the sentence reads: “That has its place as well—it’s very, very valuable content, but it’s not for us.”
5. I have an endless wonder for finding new ways to tell stories and capture people’s imaginations.
You have an “endless wonder”? Oh, boy. You can’t have an “endless wonder.” You could have an “endless thirst” or an “endless enthusiasm,” but, sorry, no “endless wonder.” Please try again.
6. Your leads and customers are comprised of multiple buyer personas, personalities, and interests – – so why should your website just have a single message?
There are two mistakes in this sentence. First, comprised of is incorrect: a group of smaller things comprise a larger thing; a larger thing is composed of a group of smaller things. Second, two hyphens don’t equal a dash. Only a dash is a dash. Make a dash by turning your Number Lock function on and pressing ALT 0 1 5 1.
Corrected, the sentence reads: Your leads and customers are composed of multiple buyer personas, personalities, and interests—why should your website just have a single message?
7. It drives me nuts when a media advisory or press release capitalizes every worth that the writer thinks is important.
Yeah, well, it drives me nuts when writers don’t edit their sentences. It’s word, not worth.
8. Personalize based on where a visitor is in their buying process, so your loyal customers experience a different website than first-time visitors.
What you have here is very sloppy English. A visitor is singular; their is a plural pronoun. You have two choices here. You can either write “his or her” with “a visitor,” or you can write “visitors are” with “their.”
The noun dictates the sentence, and the pronoun and the verb must agree with the noun.