Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog


July 2, 2014  12:20 PM

Vocabulary: Does hapless mean unhappy, unlucky or ineffectual?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore
CIO

What does this sentence mean?

interrobang When the hapless contestant is fired at the end of Apprentice, it is usually because he has failed as a project manager.  Does hapless mean:

a. Unhappy

b. Unlucky

c. Ineffectual

Continued »

June 17, 2014  2:51 PM

Vocabulary: Does protean mean beginning, changeable or heroic?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore
CIO

What does this sentence mean?

interrobang To satisfy the WebOps job description, an applicant must have a protean career history.  

a. The applicant would need to be just starting out.

b. The applicant would need experience in many different jobs.

c. The applicant would need to have demonstrated heroic efforts.

Continued »


May 7, 2014  2:44 PM

Subject / verb agreement

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
typing Which is correct?
The survey results taught us that one in three network administrators ____ interested in learning more about software-defined networking.
a. was
b. were

Answer: a

Explanation: One is the subject of the sentence. One is a singular subject, so it requires the singular verb, was. Ignore prepositional phrases when deciding upon a singular or plural verb.

The survey results taught us that one (in three network administrators) was interested in learning more about software-defined networking.


 


April 30, 2014  3:20 PM

Prefer to, prefer than or prefer over?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Which is correct?

Our data shows that a vast majority of customers prefer Brand A  ____ Brand B.
a. to
b. than
c. over

Continued »


April 11, 2014  3:50 PM

Misplaced modifiers: I don’t think that sentence means what you think it means

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

What’s wrong with this sentence?

interrobang The new iPad Air’s Retina display has the same resolution as the previous model, 264 ppi. 

Continued »


April 9, 2014  6:05 PM

Parallel construction, serial commas and false series

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?

interrobang For creating a worm that wreaked havoc across the Internet, Robert Morris was sentenced to ___________________. 

a. three years’ probation, 400 hours of community service and fined $10,000
b. sentenced to three years’ probation and 400 hours of community service and fined $10,000

Continued »


April 3, 2014  2:54 PM

Subject / verb agreement

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
typing Which is correct?
One out of every ten servers ____ a custom install.
a. require
b. requires

Answer: b

Explanation: One is the subject of the sentence, so the correct verb is requires. One server (out of every ten) requires a custom install.

Writinghood offers more advice about tricky cases of subject-verb agreement.


March 24, 2014  11:53 AM

“Over” vs. “more than” — apparently, it was a thing

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?

interrobang In a typical week, the State Department’s anti-malware programs intercept _______ 4,500 viruses.
a. more than
b. over

Continued »


March 4, 2014  7:19 PM

Sports writers not moving onto better grammar — or should that be “moving on to”?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?

interrobang Windows XP end of life is expected to boost desktop sales because moving ____ to Windows 7 is not a possibility for many older computers.a. on to
b. onto

Continued »


February 27, 2014  4:57 PM

Subject-verb agreement

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Which is correct?

The manager who reviewed the proposals found that the quality of the proposals ______ generally good, but several failed to address compliance burdens in an adequate manner.
a. were
b. was

Continued »


Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: