Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog


May 15, 2013  10:26 AM

As you requested, per and as per

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?

me2 small b&w ___________________________, I’m attaching my tax records for the years 1987-2012.
a. Per your request
b. As per your request
c. As you requested

Continued »

May 12, 2013  12:02 PM

Is it Mother’s Day, Mothers’ Day or Mothers Day?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
In honor of __________, we’ll be selling flowers in the lobby.
a. Mother’s Day
b. Mothers’ Day
c. Mothers Day

Continued »


May 11, 2013  9:10 PM

Things you can do when you get to a bridge: Cross, burn or jump

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
We’ll _____ that bridge when we come to it.
a. cross
b. burn
c. jump off

Continued »


May 8, 2013  6:10 PM

Underlying and underlining — two different words, completely different meanings

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Debating climate change with steadfast contrarians is pointless because their ___________ beliefs are not based on scientific data.
a. underlining
b. underlying

Continued »


May 3, 2013  2:09 PM

Tie me over vs. tide me over; also: the importance of fact-checking

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
I forgot to buy coffee last night and now this single cup will have to ___________ until the store opens.
a. tie me over
b. tide me over

Continued »


May 1, 2013  5:20 PM

A homage or an homage?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
The monument, built to resemble a giant iPhone, was created as _______ to Steve Jobs.
a. an homage
b. a homage

Continued »


April 23, 2013  10:26 PM

Another thing coming or another think coming?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
If you think you can rely on Microsoft Word’s grammar checker, you’ve got another _______ coming.
a. thing
b. think

Continued »


April 17, 2013  9:10 PM

Weasel words, euphemisms, and corporate communications

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
__________ saved us $750,000 in payroll expenses.
a. A headcount reduction
b. Layoffs
c. Downsizing
d. Rightsizing

Continued »


April 11, 2013  12:48 PM

Torturous path or tortuous?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Poor Apple Maps. It took a ________ path, full of twists and turns that were not adequately described in the directions, ending in firings and apologies.
a. torturous
b. tortuous

Continued »


April 5, 2013  11:41 AM

Weasel words and their BFF, the passive voice

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Occasionally, you want to own up to something without really taking the blame. You want to indicate that you know there’s a problem without indicating that you caused it. The passive voice can be very helpful.

Here’s the classic example: Mistakes were made.

You’re hoping that will come across as calm acceptance of the fact that something has — somehow! — gone wrong. In reality, it translates to “I made some mistakes but I’m a pompous twit and cannot admit to it. Furthermore, I think you’re such a dimwit that you won’t realize.” It’s like having your mom walk into the room where you stand alone, empty glass in hand and puddle at your feet, and say “Milk was spilt.”

There are times when the passive voice is the best option┬ábut that’s not when you’re trying to wriggle out of taking responsibility for something.

If you say mistakes were made, you’re making another one as you speak.

Follow me on Twitter @tao_of_grammar


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