Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

July 2, 2010  2:53 PM

Still so many questions!

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

When Site Director Margaret Rouse kicked off the Writing for Business blog in July 2008, we thought the subject matter might be finite. So far, though, we’re not seeing any indication. Every day, online content seems to deliver at least one new potential grammar question — and some days we can hardly type fast enough to keep up with them.

How much do you know about writing and grammar? Try our 10-question quiz from the early days of the WFB blog:

1. One in three project managers __________.
a. is an MBA
b. are MBAs
Which is correct?

2. HR was concerned that announcements of job cuts could ___________ staff morale.
a. effect
b. affect
Which is correct?

3. Many organizations don’t give encryption a thought until they suffer a data _______.
a. breach
b. breech
Which is correct?

4. The CEO refused to speculate about the ________ of new employees that would be hired for the project.
a. amount
b. number
Which is correct?

5. The manager felt ______ about denying your vacation request.
a. bad
b. badly
Which is correct?

6. The ____ or CFO’s signature is required on that requisition form.
a. CEO
b. CEO’s
Which is correct?

7. The CEO said “the final decision on cloud implementation will be up to the CFO and ____.”
a. me
b. myself
c. I
Which is correct?

8. The report listed the servers in two _____ categories: virtual and real.
a. discrete
b. discreet
Which is correct?

9.The following document section __________ the scope of the project.
a. will explain
b. explains
Which is correct?

10. _________ management is dedicated to the promotion of team building, it will not sponsor a daily “Happy Hour.”
a. While
b. Although
Which is correct?

June 14, 2010  3:48 PM

Is that a principle or a principal?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Wave-particle duality is a fundamental __________ of quantum theory.
a. principle
b. principal

Continued »

June 10, 2010  12:40 PM

Are you ready for advanced punctuation?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

As EnglishTeacherGuy explains in this video, you can get along just fine without colons and semicolons; however, if you really want to impress people, you should learn how to use them properly. Otherwise, just leave them out: using advanced punctuation incorrectly will only undermine your authority.

Check out the video to see how to win friends and influence people with your mad punctuation skills. Too bad about the disabled Led Zeppelin track, though…

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/7T9kGGZn19w" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

June 9, 2010  2:43 PM

How to deal with egregious grammar — and still have friends

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Do you have grammar obsessive disorder (GOD)? A GOD complex can wreak havoc on your relationships and devastate your social life — take it from me.

It’s hard out there for a grammarian, especially if you’re reasonably gregarious. How should you respond when friends and loved ones make egregious grammatical errors? Do nothing — and give yourself a new tongue piercing by biting clear through? Or correct them each time — and see them fake comas when you approach, just to avoid conversation?

Here’s a cautionary tale and some helpful advice from Rob Reinalda (@word_czar):

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/neNUpvdBoPU" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

June 8, 2010  1:51 PM

Do you have to comply to that or conform to it?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Manufacturers that sell their products internationally have to ______ to ITAR stipulations.
a. comply
b. conform

Continued »

June 7, 2010  3:07 PM

Substantial vs. substantive

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Information extraction is a process intended to pull meaningful data from noisy text without making _________ changes in the author`s intended meaning.
a. substantial
b. substantive

Continued »

June 2, 2010  7:37 PM

Can you give more than 100 percent?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
The director thanked all participants for giving ______ .
a. 100 percent
b. 110 percent

Continued »

May 26, 2010  4:30 PM

What century is this?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Modern financial bookkeeping practices date back to the ___ century, possibly about 1250.
a. 11th
b. 12th
c. 13th

Continued »

May 25, 2010  1:12 PM

Would you care to commentate — or will commenting do?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Walter Mossberg _________ that some rugged laptops have screens that are viewable in bright light.
a. commented
b. commentated

Continued »

May 24, 2010  2:01 PM

Spell out percentages under 10 or express as numerals?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

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 »

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: