Write for success


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Of all the slides, #7 could use some additional information:

Assorted grammar issues:
1. You’re / your: You’re is the contraction for ‘you are’
Your is a pronoun.
Too often people use ‘your’ when they should use you’re:
“Your going to like this new program.’

2. “Suppose to”, “use to”, “half to”. Written phonetically. The proper spelling includes a ‘d’ at the end. (Using the past participle of the verb.) So, you should write (and speak):

“Supposed to”, “Used to”, “Have to”

3. They’re / their / there:
‘They’re’ is the contraction for ‘they are’
‘Their’ is a possessive pronoun; indicates that multiple people own something
‘There’, depending on its use, can be an adverb, a pronoun, a noun, or other element.

4. It’s/ its:
It’s is the contraction for ‘it is’ or ‘it has’
Its is a possessive pronoun. Used to refer to a facet of an object. (“Its tail got caught in the car door.”) Note that this word never has an apostrophe. Think of ‘hers’ – the possessive pronoun for females. You don’t write her’s.

5. Who’s / whose
Who’s is a contraction for ‘who is’ and ‘who has’
Whose is a possessive pronoun. “Whose checkbook is lying on the table?”

6. He / she / their
My intent here is to stress that the subject and pronoun must agree in number. Too often writers an speakers use ‘their’ because it is gender neutral. A single subject or object requires a pronoun in the singular format.

“The customer sold his home for a loss.”

To use ‘their’ properly, write in the plural:

“Customers are selling their homes for a loss.”

Changing to the passive voice, you can eliminate the subject and pronoun

“Homes are being sold for a loss.”

Finally, understand that it is perfectly acceptable to use a male or female pronoun when it applies. Let’s say you just got off the phone with a female customer. When speaking to a coworker you could say, “This customer wondered whether her account is overdrawn.”

You don’t need to hide behind ‘their’; indeed, using it is technically incorrect:
“This customer wondered whether their account is overdrawn.”

7. Equal / equally
You’ve seen and heard this many times: “All (whatever) are not created equal.”

The problem is that the sentence calls for an adverb. Therefore it should say,
“All (X) are not created equally.”

Yes, I know that the U.S. Declaration of Independence contains just this type of error:
“All men are created equal.”

Just remember: In this construction, you need an adverb.

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Write for success

  1. 1. Tom Fuszard June 5, 2014
  2. 2. 1. Introduction 2. Why you should write well 3. Rules violations 4. Example to review 5. Resources 6. Wrap up; contact information
  3. 3. - Be understood - Be taken seriously - Your image, reputation (brand) Sloppy or professional? - Build your confidence - Get ahead: land a position; advance
  4. 4. Capitalization: What letters are always capitalized? 1. First letter of a sentence 2. The pronoun ‘I’ 3. Proper nouns (names) 4. (most of the time:) Acronyms, abbrev’s: (FDIC, SEC, etc.)
  5. 5. Comma misuse: Using a comma when a period or other break is needed. Sentences spliced together by commas. ◦ Hey Joe, thanks a ton for all the links, I have been searching around for them, just what I was looking for. Thanks a lot man! ◦ Just a moment, we’re improving your Skype experience…
  6. 6. Corrected versions: ◦ Hey, Joe, thanks a ton for all the links. I have been searching around for them; just what I was looking for. Thanks a lot, man! ◦ Just a moment; we’re improving your Skype experience… OR ◦ Just a moment while we’re improving your Skype experience…
  7. 7. Assorted grammar issues: 1. You’re/ your 2. “Suppose to” – supposed to (“use to” “half to”) 3. They’re /their/there 4. It’s/its 5. Who’s/whose 6. He/she/their 7. Equal/equally (“…created equal…”)
  8. 8. as a commerical two way repair man and a ham i have a hard time explaning to emergency personel why the cannot use ham radio for their primary means of communications. the law i clear on life and death , but they think it is talkin about there work. the law should say no license no radios. can you make this a question in the tech and advanced.
  9. 9. As a commercial two-way radio repairman and a ham, I have a hard time explaining to emergency personnel why they cannot use ham radio for their primary means of communications. The law is clear on life and death, but they think it is talking about their work. The law should say, “No license, no radios.” Can you make this a question in the Tech and Advanced exams?
  10. 10.  Your brain  Dictionary  Grammar handbook: any will do  Style guide; AP is fine  “Common Errors in English” website (search for it)
  11. 11. Visit my blog at: http://TomFuszard.com http://TomFuszard.com/samples Tom@TomFuszard.com Other venues: www.twitter.com/TomFuszard www.YouTube.com/user/TomFuszard www.LinkedIn.com/in/TomFuszard www.facebook.com/FuszardMarketing