Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog


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 »


January 28, 2014  12:44 PM

Redundant pleonasms, with an extra bonus

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

What’s wrong with this sentence?

interrobang Because the customer had a past history of viruses and worms, I suspected that the current problem was another malware infection.

Continued »


January 16, 2014  11:28 AM

Is it “all be it” or “albeit”?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?

interrobang Leet is a simple kind of code that’s human-readable — ______ with some difficulty — but more problematic for a computer to decode.
a. all be it
b. albeit

Continued »


December 5, 2013  12:03 PM

What’s the past tense of spin — spinned, span or spun?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?

interrobang After that unfortunate incident at the holiday party, he went immediately into reputation management mode. But no matter how he ______ it, he still came out looking like a jerk.
a. spinned
b. span
c. spun

Continued »


December 3, 2013  1:24 PM

“Ass” as an intensifier and why we need hyphens: big ass pizza

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?

interrobang Drop down to the lounge at four – to celebrate the end of a very successful¬†fiscal quarter, we’re treating your team to a case of beer and a ______________________.
a. big-ass pizza
b. big ass pizza

Continued »


November 24, 2013  11:38 PM

Is it inethical or unethical?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?

interrobang Be careful out there on Black Friday, and Cyber Monday too — _____ retailers will be pulling out the old bait and switch gag.
a. inethical
b. unethical

Continued »


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