Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog


February 19, 2013  12:50 PM

The difference between “aw” and “awe”

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?

I liked the photo of my friend’s new puppy and commented “____, what a cutie! But why did you name him Puddles?”
a. Aw
b. Awe

Continued »

February 15, 2013  5:01 PM

illeism, nosism and other affectations

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
If you are prone to nosism, what do you have a tendency to do?
a. Intentionally disobey grammar rules
b. Look down on people with poor grammar
c. Speak of yourself as plural
d. Speak of yourself in the third person
e. Supply vague answers to questions

Continued »


February 13, 2013  2:01 PM

Is the expression “one and the same” or “one in the same”?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?

Microsoft’s approach with Windows 8 is that tablets and PCs are ____________: same interface, same apps, same touch-screen capabilities.

a. one and the same
b. one in the same

Continued »


February 11, 2013  1:03 PM

Is Times New Roman a font or a fount? It depends.

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?

A _____ is a set of printable or displayable text characters in a specific style and size.
a. fount
b. font

Continued »


February 7, 2013  5:25 PM

Font of wisdom or fount of wisdom?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Once upon a time, the CIO was considered the ____ of all wisdom, at least in terms of technology.
a. fount
b. font

Continued »


February 6, 2013  8:10 PM

What’s a malapropism?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

A malapropism is the use of a mistaken word that bears some resemblance to the correct one, usually to comic effect.  Not quite as similar to the correct word as an eggcorn, which is a wrong word that sounds the same or almost the same as the word it replaces, a malapropism usually has the same first letter as the intended word, and often the same first syllable, but is not really related.

Malapropism comes from Richard Sheridan’s 1775 play, “The Rivals,” in which a character, Mrs. Malaprop,  is prone to fairly hilarious errors, like saying someone is “the very pineapple of politeness”  or “as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile.”

Richard Nordquist lists these fine examples of malapropisms among his collection:

“Why not? Play captains against each other, create a little dysentery in the ranks.”
(Christopher Moltisanti in The Sopranos)

“However, they delineate–quotas, I think, vulcanize society.” (George W. Bush)

“There’s no stigmata connected with going to a shrink.” (Little Carmine in The Sopranos)

***

Follow me on Twitter @tao_of_grammar


February 5, 2013  5:28 PM

What does “illeism” mean?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
If you are prone to illeism, what do you have a tendency to do?
a. Intentionally disobey grammar rules
b. Speak of yourself in the third person
c. Supply vague answers to questions

Continued »


February 5, 2013  12:30 PM

Bona fide vs. bonified: Surprise! “Bonified” is a word .

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Amid all the vendor hype, it’s hard to understand the ________ benefits of cloud computing.
a. bona fide
b. bonified

Continued »


February 1, 2013  1:43 PM

appropriate vs. expropriate

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
I just have one question, before we adjourn: Who ____________ the X-Box from the lounge?
a. appropriated
b. expropriated

Continued »


January 21, 2013  10:22 PM

Do you reap what you sow or what you sew?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Microsoft has often been accused of ______ FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) to keep customers leery of switching to competitor’s products.
a. sowing
b. sewing

Continued »


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