Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog


September 10, 2009  1:27 PM

Parallel structure in a series

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Is this sentence correct?

Customers should use the web as a cost-effective support mechanism to make inquiries about products and services, to place orders, receive technical assistance and to resolve issues.
a. yes
b. no

Continued »

September 10, 2009  1:17 PM

All right or alright?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
I had a lot of success with distance learning, so I felt _______ about missing out on the social aspects of school.
a. alright
b. all right

Answer: b

Explanation:
Alright is not a word — which is a little confusing because there are similar compound words with all, such as altogether and already.

Bob Dylan gets full marks on this one with “Don’t Think Twice, it’s All Right” but the Who fails with “The Kids are Alright.” The kids may be all right but their spelling is all wrong.

Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty has a good post about all right vs. alright.

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September 9, 2009  4:51 PM

Does a question mark go inside or outside of quotation marks?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
The system administrator’s question was “Will the cost savings of a multi-user environment make up for the difficulty of deploying ____
a. it?”
b. it”?

Answer: a

Explanation:
According to AP style, a question mark is inside quotation marks if that part is the question and outside the quotation marks if the whole sentence is a question. (The same rule applies to exclamation marks and dashes. Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks.)

Grammarbook.com has more information about quotation marks and punctuation.

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September 8, 2009  3:17 PM

Plural of request for proposal

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore
typing Which is correct?
When you respond to _______________ from multiple companies, you should demonstrate a broad understanding of each organization’s culture.
a. request for proposals
b. requests for proposal

Continued »


September 3, 2009  2:47 PM

Colons vs. semicolons

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

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Which is correct?
The CEO cannot _____ he’s given so much slack that even his most dismal catastrophes are hailed as triumphs.
a. fail;
b. fail:

Continued »


September 2, 2009  8:22 PM

Expressing large sums of money

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
The ARRA stimulus package included ________ for healthcare IT.
a. $20 billion
b. $20 billion dollars

Continued »


August 31, 2009  1:21 PM

Begging the question or raising it?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore
typing Which is correct?
Because cyberbullying occurs outside the school, the situation ______ the question of whether or not it falls into the school’s jurisdiction.
a. begs
b. raises

Continued »


August 28, 2009  6:12 PM

RT stands for “retweet”

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Retweet is a Twitter term that means to rebroadcast a message that someone else wrote (I say “someone else” but I have also seen people retweeting their own messages. Which always seems like cheating.) Retweeting is complimentary to the original tweeter and helps get them and their messages out to a wider audience.


August 28, 2009  4:13 PM

Less or fewer?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore
typing Which is correct?
I use disposable email accounts because I’m trying to get ____ junk messages in my main accounts.
a. less
b. fewer

Continued »


August 27, 2009  1:12 PM

Perspective / prospective

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore
typing Which is correct?
Accurately portraying _________ is a challenging aspect of 3-D graphic art.
a. perspective
b. prospective

Continued »


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