Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog


August 13, 2012  5:39 PM

Me or I and the problem of overcorrection

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Would you like Joe and _______ to attend the Tweetup in New York next week?
a. me
b. myself
c. I

Continued »

August 10, 2012  12:24 PM

Can you use “between” when you’re talking about more than two things?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Instead of choosing _______ Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud, people often use more than one cloud storage service.
a. between
b. among

Continued »


August 9, 2012  12:57 PM

Blatant vs. flagrant

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
The ad was a ________ attempt to spread FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) about the competitor’s product.
a. blatant
b. flagrant
Continued »


August 8, 2012  1:25 PM

What’s the difference between software, programs and applications?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
An operating system (OS) is the ________ that, after being initially loaded into the computer by a boot program, manages all the other programs in a computer.
a. program
b. software
c. application

Continued »


August 7, 2012  1:06 PM

Graciously accept or graciously decline? You may do either — but can you say you’re doing so?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
I have already committed to two holiday parties on that evening, so I’m going to have to _________ decline your invitation.
a. graciously
b. gratefully

Continued »


August 6, 2012  12:29 PM

Compound possessives

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
______________ computers both really need to be defragged.
a. Bill and my
b. Bill’s and my
c. Mine and Bill’s

Continued »


August 3, 2012  8:32 PM

Is a network of doctors and hospitals a singular subject or a plural one?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
An accountable care organization (ACO) is a network of doctors and hospitals that _____ responsibility for providing care to patients.
a. share
b. shares

Continued »


August 3, 2012  12:38 PM

Capitalization and long job titles

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
1. Alex Keh, principal product manager for Oracle Development Tools, described the benefits of the new tools for .NET development.
2. Principal Product Manager for Oracle Development Tools Alex Keh described the benefits of the new tools for .NET development.
Continued »


August 1, 2012  1:48 PM

Are you in the “all together” or the “altogether”?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Tapes go bad and data can become corrupt or get erased ___________.
a. altogether
b. all together

Answer: a

Explanation:
All together means collectively, simultaneously — we sing “Happy Birthday” all together when we sing it in unison.

Altogether means entirely, completely. The data is gone, Baby, gone.

If you’re nude, you’re in the altogether — you’re completely naked.

@GrammarGirl Mignon Fogarty explains these and related words in a post on all right vs. alright.

Follow us on Twitter @tao_of_grammar


July 31, 2012  2:32 PM

Do you use archaic language in your writing? Get it right!

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

I was exploring archaic speech and grammar a little bit and stumbled across Dan Tobias’ terrific post on archaic English grammar. You really want to read the whole post but I’ll reproduce his handy table here. If you’re going to use archaic language, Tobias will help you get it right.

Pronouns and their Verb Conjugations

These are the things people use most often to “affect” an archaic feel to their language. Here are the correct usages:

Subjective (nominative) Objective (accusative) Possessive (genitive) Verb Ending Irregular Verbs
1st Person Singular I me my, mine 1 none am
2nd Person Singular thou thee thy, thine 1 -est art, hast, dost, shalt, wilt
3rd Person Singular he, she, it him, her, it his, her/hers, its -eth is, hath, doth
1st Person Plural we us our, ours none are
2nd Person Plural ye 2 you your, yours none are
3rd Person Plural they them their, theirs none are

 

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