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Writing Tips: 111 - 120

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These tips provided by: http://www.basic-learning.com

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Tip #111: When you proofread for spelling errors, look for the words you know you might have misspelled.A tip for putting an additional ending on a word is to drop the "e" when the ending begins with a vowel; keep the "e" when the ending begins with a consonant.

Examples
  • Entire Entirely
  • Come Coming
  • ImproveImprovement
  • GuideGuidance
  • Like Likable

There are a few exceptions to this rule.Always check your dictionary.

Here are the exceptions:

  • Notice/Noticeable
  • Change/Changeable
  • Dye/Dyeing (this differs from die+ing=dying


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Please correct the following words if they are misspelled.

  • Preist
  • Reign
  • Reciept
  • Wieght
  • Retreive
  • Peice
  • Forfeit
  • foriegn


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Here is the suggested revised version for the exercise in Tip #110:

"Fast food corporations are producing and advertising bigger items and high-fat combination meals.Meanwhile, the American population faces a growing epidemic of obesity."



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Tip # 112: Here are the "magic words" that writers can use to entice their readers into their copy, whether it's in print or online:
(Source: Gillian Shaw, "Sex Ousted as Most-Used Internet Word,"
Vancouver Sun, May 3, 2000, p.D1).
  • Free
  • Information
  • Download
  • Online
  • Music
  • How to
  • New
  • Discover
  • You
  • Secrets
  • Now
  • 10 (or any number of ways to ______
  • What every _____ should know about ________


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Correct the following sentences that need commas.

1. She typed the lengthy overdue report last week.
2. In short books help to give us a richer experience.
3. It is very important that you turn off the lights and lock the door.
4. We agreed the material masters are under copy-written ownership and are offered for your use only for the seven workshops dated above.
5. After you read the directions I advise you to paste them on the side of your terminal.

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Thanks to all who sent in their answers to Tip #111's spelling exercise. Here are the answers:

  • Preist--------priest
  • Reign---------reign
  • Reciept ------receipt
  • Wieght--------weight
  • Retreive------retrieve
  • Piece---------piece
  • Forfeit-------forfeit
  • Foreign-------foreign

 

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Tip # 113: Avoid inserting an adverb between the word "to" and the verb.This is called "splitting an infinitive."

For example:
Weak: I found it impossible to even see a foot ahead of me.
Better: I found it impossible to see even a foot ahead of me.
Weak: John tries to carefully do his work.
Better: John tries to do the work carefully.

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Here is a sample from a newspaper clipping that was describing an AFP photo from the American Museum of Natural History.Please choose the description of what error was committed:
a) Comma splice
b) Incorrect use of quotation marks
c) Incorrect use of an apostrophe
d) Dangling construction

The Newspaper clipping:
"This photo of the "fighting dinosaurs" fossils shows an overhead view of a protoceratops, left, that apparently died locked in combat with a velociraptor in Mongolia's Gobi Desert more than 80 years ago."

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The following is last week's exercise.Thanks for all who sent me their answers in advance.

Correct the following sentences that need commas.

1. She typed the lengthy overdue report last week.
2. In short books help to give us a richer experience.
3. It is very important that you turn off the lights and lock the door.
4. We agreed the material masters are under copy-written ownership and are offered for your use only for the seven workshops dated above.
5. After you read the directions I advise you to paste them on the side of your terminal.

The answers are:
1. She typed the lengthy, overdue report last week.
2. In short, books help to give us a richer experience.
3. It is very important that you turn off the lights and lock the door.
4. We agreed the material masters are under copy-written ownership and are offered for your use only for the seven workshops dated above.
5. After you read the directions, I advise you to paste them on the side of your terminal.

 

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Tip # 114: Gerunds end in "ing" (working), and infinitives begin with "to" (to work). Both are puzzling to many people because they are verbs used as another part of speech.Gerunds can be used any way that nouns are used; infinitives can be used as a noun, adjective, or adverb

Example of a gerund used as a complement:

He enjoys working.


Example of an infinitive used as a complement:

She promised to fulfill her part of the contract.

 

Example of a gerund used as the subject of a sentence:

Working is an important part of life.

 

Example of an infinitive used as a subject:

To expand is our only answer.


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Correct the following use of the colon.Two sentences are correct, and two sentences are incorrect.

1. The three fluids used for cleaning are: water, alcohol, and acetone.
2. I would like to be transferred to: Tucson, Boston, or Miami.
3. See Matthew 14:1 (chapter 14, verse 1).
4. This is the real meaning of his "suggestion": our department better show a profit.

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Thanks to all who sent in their answers to last week's exercise.The correct answer to last week's question was d (dangling construction). But on a second look, it was just plain incorrect information.

The Newspaper clipping:
"This photo of the "fighting dinosaurs" fossils shows an overhead view of a protoceratops, left, that apparently died locked in combat with a velociraptor in Mongolia's Gobi Desert more than 80 years ago."

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I have a great, new on-line course, Effective Communication Skills.

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Tip #115: If you are writing a press release, here are some tips for writing your headlines from Digitalwork.com:

1. Do not include the terms "Company", "Incorporated" or "Limited" or their abbreviations unless they are necessary to clearly identify the organization, i.e. Tandy
Corporation vs. Tandy Brands.
2. Do not use first names or middle initials unless it is necessary to clearly identify the individual or to make the headline read correctly. For example: "King of Los Angeles Awarded Congressional Medal of Honor" should be changed to read "John King of Los Angeles Awarded Congressional Medal of Honor."
3. Don't use headers that look like spam. Anything with repeated exclamation points, dollar signs or all caps will essentially guarantee that the editor will hit the delete key without reading your release.
4. Use words like claim or alleged rather than controversial, potentially libelous, critical or judgmental statements. For example, for the headline "Municipal Hospital Workers
Locked Out," change the headline to "Local 1040 Claims Municipal Hospital Workers Locked Out."

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Here's an exercise to help you concentrate. Find the color/colors concealed in each of the sentences:

1. Newspaper editors decided to go on strike.
2. A big, old, hungry dog appeared at our door every morning.
3. The Brazilian student, Paulo, lives just around the corner from us.
4. You shouldn't let an upstart like him bother you.
5. He let out a big yell, owing to the injuries he received when he fell.
6. He decided to leap, in keeping with the agreement reached with the referee.

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The following is last week's exercise:

Correct the following use of the colon. Two sentences are correct, and two sentences are incorrect.

1. The three fluids used for cleaning are: water, alcohol, and acetone.
2. I would like to be transferred to: Tucson, Boston, or Miami.
3. See Matthew 14:1 (chapter 14, verse 1).
4. This is the real meaning of his "suggestion": our  department better show a profit.

The answer is # 1 and #2 are incorrect.

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I have a great, new on-line course, Effective Communication Skills.


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Tip # 116: Do not confuse the abbreviation e.g. (Latin for exempli gatia), meaning "for example" with i.e. (Latin for id est), meaning "that is."

Example:Some terms of the contract, e.g. duration and job classification, were settled in the first two sessions.

Example:We were a fairly heterogeneous group, i.e., managers, directors, and vice-presidents.

I suggest you use the words "for example" and "that is" rather than the Latin abbreviations because they are perfectly good English expressions.

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Look for errors in word usage in the following exercise.
Please correct the incorrect/slang word or words.

1. The peer review group had a lot of objections.
2. He was already to start work on the project.
3. The roll pin is located among the grommet and the knob.
4. Irregardless of the difficulties, we must increase the strength of our machinery.

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This was the last exercise given.A color was hidden in each sentence. (Here's an exercise to help you concentrate.Find the color/colors concealed in each of the sentences:)

1. Newspaper editors decided to go on strike. (RED)
2. A big, old, hungry dog appeared at our door every morning.  (GOLD/RED)
3. The Brazilian student, Paulo, lives just around the corner from us. (OLIVE)
4. You shouldn't let an upstart like him bother you. (TAN)
5. He let out a big yell, owing to the injuries he received when he fell. (YELLOW)
6. He decided to leap, in keeping with the agreement reached with the referee. (PINK)

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Tip #117: "Oral" vs. "verbal".The word "oral" means by mouth; "verbal" means, simply, in words -- whether by mouth or by hand, spoken or written. When talking about contracts, use oral (not verbal) or written contract.(Thanks to The Vocabula Review -- Vol. 2, No. 6)

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Please correct any errors in the use of numbers:

1. The manager closed 1/3 of the department.
2. The office will need 3 computers.
3. He will need twenty minutes to prepare for the meeting.
4. We need 25 3/4 inch binders.
5. The seminar will start at three o'clock.

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Here are the answers to last week's exercise: Look for errors in word usage in the following exercise.Please correct the incorrect/slang word or words.

1. The peer review group had many objections.
2. He was ready to start work on the project.
3. The roll pin is located between the grommet and the knob.
4. Regardless of the difficulties, we must increase the strength of our machinery.

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Tip #118: When writing to a business contact in another culture (other than the USA), what is the main issue to consider?

Consider whether writing is appropriate.In some cultures, a letter or memo will not be read before meeting you, while in others, written correspondence would be essential.For example, in Latin America no business will happen before you sit down person-to-person and face-to-face.However, in Germany, written documents are essential before any business discussion can happen.

So, the main issue is to know whether oral or written communication is appropriate in another culture.

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Correct the errors using the verbs "lie" and "lay."
1. Lay down here and rest.
2. The pen is laying on the table.
3. I had laid down for a nap.

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Here are the answers to last week's exercise:
1. The manager closed 1/3 of the department.
2. The office will need three computers.
3. He will need 20 minutes to prepare for the meeting.
4. We need twenty-five 3/4 inch binders.
5. The seminar will start at 3:00 p.m.

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Tip #119: 1. Do not use the word "anxious" when you mean "eager." According to the Vocabula Review, "anxious" is best reserved for feelings of dread, apprehension, or uneasiness; let's not use it as a synonym for "eager."

Here are some examples found in magazines with the incorrect use of the word "anxious."

1)The Buffalo Sabres are "anxious" to get rookie Maxim Afinogenov back for the American Hockey League playoffs following Russia's elimination at the World Hockey Championships.USE "eager." Canada Sports: http://sports.excite.ca/nhl/news]

2)The 50 people whose lives were changed when fire ravaged their homes at the Maryel Manor senior housing complex two months ago are "anxious" for things to return to the way they used to be. USE "eager." [Broomfield News:http://www.broomfieldnews.com]

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Here are some other sentences that have used incorrect words.Please correct them.

1. Less accidents were reported than was expected.
2. The drive from the airport to Denver was further than we expected.
3. I got the answer I needed off Margaret.
4. I will do the job as good as I can.

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Last week's exercise was:Correct the errors using the verbs "lie" and "lay." (See parenthesis for correct verb).

1. Lay down here and rest.(Lie)
2. The pen is laying on the table. (Lying)
3. I had laid down for a nap.(Lain)

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Tip # 120:  The following tips are what NOT to put in a resume
(Adapted from the Rockport Institute):

1. The word "Resume" at the top of the resume
2. Fluffy rambling "objective" statements
3. Salary information
4. Full addresses and zip codes of former employers
5. Reasons for leaving jobs
6. A "Personal" section, or personal statistics (except in special
cases)
7. Names of supervisors
8. References

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What's wrong with the following use of question marks?

1. "When are we going to receive a raise in salary?."
2. You told me--Didn't you--that Harry had been chosen?
3. The group leader asked if anyone had a question?

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This was last week's exercise:

Here are some other sentences that have used incorrect words. 
Please correct them.

1. Less accidents were reported than was expected.
2. The drive from the airport to Denver was further than we expected.
3. I got the answer I needed off Margaret.
4. I will do the job as good as I can.

The answers are:

1. Fewer accidents were reported than was expected.
2. The drive from the airport to Denver was farther than we expected.
3. I got the answer I needed from Margaret.
4. I will do the job as well as I can.

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