electronic translators, electrical exam prep, scanners, spy gadgets, dvr, hidden cameras, weather radios
Bookmark and Share
Products Articles  Book Reviews  Brainpower Newsletter Contact Us      Home  Search

Writing Tips: 481 - 490

Use your browser's Find function to look for tips that apply to your particular situation.

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

Books on writing.

Tools to help you include Bull's Eye Business Writing (a self-paced workbook) and How To Improve Your Business Reading Skills (also on CD-ROM)--all from Basic Learning Systems, Inc. 888-204-3600 * See our Web site at http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Tip #481: The following sentences are incorrect:

"Here's two great performance stories you should know about."

"Here's seven reasons why Hialeah leads the rest."

The true subjects of each sentence --stories and reasons---are plural and require the verb "are." The error is common because the word order is inverted (Here+verb+subject) and causes writers to make a mistake in subject-verb agreement. This same problem occurs when a sentence begins with "there's."

*********************************************************

Correct the following sentences:

1. The boss summoned Alice and I to her office.

2. He ordered rods of 10 foot long lengths.

*********************************************************

"The question of each man to settle is not what he would do if he had the means, time, influence, and educational advantages, but what he will do with the things he has."
(Hamilton Wright Mabee)

*********************************************************

Suggested answers:

1. The boss summoned Alice and me to her office.

2. He ordered rods of 10-foot lengths.




If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Tip #482: Send hand-written memos. Brief memos written by hand save time and by their nature are more personal and direct.


For example:

Sonny:
That's outstanding news about the Acme. Get some rest now - you deserve it.

Harry

*********************************************************

Please punctuate the following paragraph with its compound-complex sentences:

At the same time that the new system improves employee morale it provides incentives for better productivity it uses a variation of "flex-time" working hours which the union has been advocating and since the system involves employees in the decision-making process it helps them appreciate the dilemmas faced by management.

*********************************************************

"You see things and say 'Why?'; but I dream things that never were and I say 'Why not?'"
(George Bernard Shaw, British playwright, 1856 - 1950)

*********************************************************

Suggested answer:

At the same time that the new system improves employee morale, it provides incentives for better productivity; it uses a variation of "flex-time" working hours, which the union has been advocating; and since the system involves employees in the decision-making process, it helps them appreciate the dilemmas faced by management.



If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

Tip #483: Place the word "only" next to the word or phrase it modifies.

For example:

Original: In the longer run, this election can only be counted as a success if it helps lead to a unified Iraq.

Better: In the longer run, this election can be counted as a success only if it helps lead to a unified Iraq.

*********************************************************

Please share these tips with your friends and associates. You are one of more than 16840 subscribers around the world.

*********************************************************

Exercise:

Change the position of the word "only" in the following sentences:

1. One HIV test on the market only involves a finger prick, and results are available in 20 minutes.

2. The delisting proposal of taking the grizzly bear off the endangered species only covers a 6-million acre habitat.

*********************************************************

"Children need models rather than critics."
(Joseph Joubert)

*********************************************************

Suggested answers:

1. One HIV test on the market involves only a finger prick, and results are available in 20 minutes.

2. The delisting proposal of taking the grizzly bear off the endangered species covers only a 6-million acre habitat.




If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Tip #484

Here is the Washington Post's Mensa Invitational which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by
adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supplying a new definition.

These are some of the winners:

1. Cashtration (n.):
The act of buying (or building) a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus:
A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3 Intaxication:
Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize that it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation:
Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.):
The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little
sign of breaking down in the near future.

(I thought you might like to smile at the above.)




If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Tip #485

The ability to make and understand puns is the highest level of language development. (Taken from a web site my husband sent to me. It was fun to read so I am sharing it with you.)

Here are the ten first place winners in the International Pun Contest:

1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, 'I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.'

2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says 'Dam!'

3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, 'I've lost my Electron.' The other says 'Are you sure?' The first replies, 'Yes, I'm positive.'

5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. 'But why?', they asked, as they moved off. 'Because,' he said,' I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer.'

7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to Spain, they name him 'Juan'; the other went to a family in Egypt and is named 'Ahmal.' Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, 'They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal.'

8. A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to persuade them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good) a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

10. And finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to friends, in the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No Pun in ten did.


 

To email Gloria, send to: gloria @ basic-learning.com.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Tip #486

This is how language grows: Someone complained that "mad at" sounded wrong. He said you need to say "mad with you," not "mad at you." For several hundred years the English words "mad" and "madness" were tied to concepts of insanity.

King Lear (Shakespeare) was mad; the Hatter (Alice In Wonderland) was mad; and half of Ibsen's characters were just a little nuts. The mad/angry sense developed in the 19th century.

The same thing happened to the word "sore." This word meant physical pain and now means "annoyed at." Language grows from not
only forging new words but also by finding new meanings for old ones.
(adapted from The Writer's Art)

*********************************************************

Please share these tips with your friends and associates. You are one of more than 16910 subscribers around the world.

*********************************************************

Which phrases are correct:

1. The mushrooming talent of a young actress
2. The burgeoning talent of a young actress
3. The burgeoning population of China
4. The mushrooming population of China

*********************************************************

"Smart people speak from experience; smarter people, from experience, don't speak." (Unknown)

*********************************************************

Comments: Sally commented about tip #485 concerning the question about the sentence: "Everyone has been written."

Everyone has been written will never make sense as it is incomplete - everyone had been written is also not correct as you cannot avoid what has been written about and "everyone has been writing" is such a  different thing that they cannot really be compared.

I agree that the addition of 'to' makes it make sense, but it seems as if the person with the original question is miles away, or the
question is not being answered.

Not my clearest day - sorry, but I'm not sure that the person is being answered for the question they're asking and further, they should
have been asking that question in the first place.

Good luck if any of that makes sense.

************************

Here's another pun sent in by Gary Stofan:

Whenever Gandhi walked, in support of his cause, it was said that he was always trying to log a rithm.

*********************************************************

Answers:

1. The burgeoning talent of a young actress
2. The mushrooming population of China

Burgeoning means "emerging," and mushrooming means "has been growing for a long time."




If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

 
Tip #487

Can you answer reader Woodie Perkins' question?

Could I ask as to the difference on "assume" and "presume"?
What is the correct usage for both?

*********************************************************

"People who say you're as old as you feel are all wrong, fortunately."
Russell Baker)

*********************************************************

Answer:

"Assume" means to take upon oneself; take over. For example, "Let's assume our guests will be on time."

"Presume" means to take for granted; suppose or assume. For example, "I would not presume to tell you what to do."




If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Tip #488

This is a hint for conducting a readability check on your writing: have a 12-year-old read what you have written. If the words are too difficult, the young reader will tell you.

*********************************************************

Please share these tips with your friends and associates. You are one of more than 16950 subscribers around the world.

*********************************************************

Please form the plural possessive of the following words:

alumna
child
boss
hero

*********************************************************

"Do not protect yourself by a fence, but rather by your friends."
(Czech proverb)

*********************************************************

Answers:

alumnae's
children's
bosses'
heroes'
 


If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Tip #489

 

Please place an apostrophe where it is needed:

1. a six months leave of absence
2. an old boys network
3. a savings account
4. an earnings record

*********************************************************

"The pursuit of truth will set you free -- even if you never catch  up with it." (Clarence Darrow, 20th –century American lawyer)

*********************************************************

Answers:

1. a six months' leave of absence
2. an old boys' network
 





If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Tip #490

**********************************************************
Use a singular verb after a phrase beginning with "one of" or "one of the." For example: One of my backup disks has been lost.

***********************************************************

Choose the correct verb:

1. One of the reasons for so many absences (are, is) poor motivation.
2. No one, not even the executive vice presidents, (know, knows) whether the CEO plans to resign.
3. One of you (are, is) to be nominated for the office.

***********************************************************
"The greatest truths are the simplest, and so are the greatest men." (J.C.Hare)

***********************************************************
Answers:

1. One of the reasons for so many absences is poor motivation.
2. No one, not even the executive vice presidents, knows whether the CEO plans to resign.
3. One of you is to be nominated for the office.



If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

 

Writing Quicklinks

Writing tips:
101 - 110 | 111 - 120 | 121 - 130 | 131 - 140 | 141 - 150
151 - 160 | 161 - 170 | 171 - 180 | 181 - 190 | 191 - 200
200-210
| 212-220 | 221-230 | 231 - 240 | 241 - 250
251 - 260
| 261 - 270 | 271 - 280 | 281 - 290 | 291 - 300
300 - 310

441 -450 | 451 - 460 | 461 - 470 | 471 - 480 | 481 - 490 | 491 - 500
501 - 510 | 511 - 520 | 521 - 530 | 531 - 540 | 541 - 550
551 - 560 | 561 - 570 | 571 - 580 | 581 - 590 | 591 - 600
600-610 | 611-620 | 621 - 630 | 631 - 640 | 641 - 650 | 651 - 660
671 - 680 | 681 - 690 | 691 - 700 | 701 - 710

Writing for Trade Publications | Active Voice | http://www.atozwriting.com


To turbocharge your own writing skills, visit http://www.basic-learning.com

Articles | Book Reviews | Free eNL | Products

Contact Us | Home

This material, copyright Mindconnection. Don't make all of your communication electronic. Hug somebody!