Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog


May 24, 2010  2:01 PM

Spell out percentages under 10 or express as numerals?



Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
Business writing, CIO, grammar, numbers under 10, numerals, percentages, Quiz

Which is correct?
The federal government established a goal of contracting with women-owned small businesses for ________ of the total.
a. five percent
b. 5 percent
c. 5%

Continued »

May 20, 2010  9:41 PM

Whet your appetite or wet your appetite?



Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
Business writing, CIO, commonly misspelled words, grammar, Quiz, whet or wet, word meanings

Which is correct?
Some proponents hope that Peppermint will ____ the mainstream appetite for cloud computing.
a. whet
b. wet

Continued »


May 20, 2010  4:11 PM

Is that data historic or historical?



Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
Business writing, CIO, commonly confused terms, grammar, historic or historical, Quiz

Which is correct?
The majority of stakeholders want access to not only current information but also ________ data.
a. historical
b. historic

Continued »


May 19, 2010  12:42 PM

Was he electrocuted or merely shocked?



Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
Business writing, CIO, definitions, electrocution, grammar, Quiz, word meanings

Which is correct?
The plaintiff maintained that his disability was a result of being ___________ by a faulty device when he was in the hospital.
a. electrocuted
b. shocked

Continued »


May 17, 2010  9:41 PM

Per say what?



Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
business, CIO, commonly misspelled words, grammar, Latin, spelling

Which is correct?
A serious reportable event is not evidence of negligence ______.
a. per say
b. perse
c. per se

Continued »


May 14, 2010  2:22 PM

Between you and I or between you and me?



Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
between you and I or between you and me, Business writing, CIO, grammar, Quiz

Which is correct?
Between you and ___ claims of openness seem to suggest that there’s something to hide.
a. I,
b. me,

Continued »


May 14, 2010  12:27 PM

Forward, back, north, south



Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
Business writing, CIO, dates, forward / back

Our long-time correspondent and frequent contributor Herzl (Tselly) Regev sent in this response to the question we sent out yesterday, If a deadline’s moved forward is it earlier or later? It seems the Israeli army has a different way of looking at this issue.

Here’s Tselly’s note:

Shalom,

In Israel, the army is perhaps the most prolific source of slang. Probably from there, “to the North” means “forward”, and “to the South” is “backwards”. As in: “starting Tuesday and to the North” means “from Tuesday and forward”. So if you move a date to the North, it actually moves to the South in the calendar…

——————–
Herzl (Tselly) Regev

Oooohhhh, must sit down. My head is spinning. Like many people, I find the directional concept confusing with dates — if, for example, I push something forward, it gets farther away from me. If I push it back, it could go backwards or it could go back towards whoever pushed it towards me in the first place. I don’t think I’ll get into that. No, I’ll just sit quietly and think about stationary items. And the next time someone asks if we can push a meeting back (or forward for that matter), I’ll just say no.

Tselly wrote again to say:

Actually I’m saying that the up and down are hopelessly mixed. Indeed, what does it mean to move a date up or down?

Maybe you’d like the biblical orientation, to the orient: the usual biblical word for east is forward, west is back (or to the sea – the Mediterranean), south is right (yamin or teiman – the Hebrew name of Yemen) and north is left.

There is a famous map of Israel on display in Jordan that is thus oriented. I seem to remember a Greek map of “the world” fron the 5th century BCE that is oriented like today’s maps, so I wonder where the word “orientation” comes from.


May 11, 2010  4:27 PM

Combining quotation marks with other punctuation



Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
Business writing, CIO, grammar, punctuation, Quiz, quotation marks and punctuation

Which is correct?
According to Peter Drucker “there is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a _________
a. customer.”
b. customer”.

Continued »


May 11, 2010  2:47 PM

Hyphenating compound modifiers



Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
Business writing, CIO, compound modifiers, grammar, hyphenation, Quiz

Which is correct?
In a _______ circuit, external noise can be picked up from appliances in the vicinity, from electrical transformers, from the atmosphere and even from outer space.
a. hard wired
b. hard-wired
Continued »


May 5, 2010  2:53 PM

Verbing nouns



Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
Business writing, CIO, grammar, incent, incentivize, Quiz, verbing

Which is correct?
Funds made available through the HITECH Act are expected to ________ faster adoption of electronic health records.
a. motivate
b. incentivize
c. incent
Continued »


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