Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog:


April 3, 2013  11:37 AM

Weasel words: issue

Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
business communications, CIO, weasel words

Which is correct? Due to a configuration problem, your email servers are down and users have no access. How should you describe the problem? a. Our email servers are down. b. We are dealing with configuration issues. c. Users are experiencing connectivity issues.

March 25, 2013  12:13 PM

There’s a word for it: The spiteful behavior of objects

Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
CIO, obsolete terms, obsolete word of the day, Oxford English Dictionary

Which is correct? My computer kept rebooting, Siri kept mocking me, and the printer was emitting nothing but a low mechanical drone and the occasional beep. It seemed that all the devices in my study had...

March 19, 2013  12:33 PM

Is that your queue to leave or your cue to leave?

Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
CIO, common misspellings, ESL, Google poll, meanings of common expressions

Which is correct? When the wedding DJ puts on Macarena, that's my ______________. a. queue to leave b. que to leave c. cue to leave

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March 13, 2013  1:20 PM

Do you turn your nose up or down?

Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
CIO, commonly misused expressions, malaphors, meanings of common expressions, metaphors

Which is correct? According to some analysts, the main reason people turned their noses ___ at the Zune media player was that Microsoft just isn't considered cool. a. up b. down

February 20, 2013  10:26 PM

Metaphors, malaphors and Yogi Berra

Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
CIO, funny errors, word meanings

Malaphor is not a word yet but it's a useful term that may yet get there. The term itself is a portmanteau -- a word combined from parts of two other words -- of malapropism and metaphor. Lawrence Harrison coined malaphor, back in August of 1976, in a Op Ed piece in the...

February 6, 2013  8:10 PM

What’s a malapropism?

Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
CIO, types of errors, word meanings

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...

February 1, 2013  1:43 PM

appropriate vs. expropriate

Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
CIO, commonly confused words, word choice, word meanings

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

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January 21, 2013  10:22 PM

Do you reap what you sow or what you sew?

Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
CIO, commonly confused terms, commonly misspelled words, commonly misunderstood phrases, spelling

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

January 16, 2013  7:56 PM

Most stupid or stupidest? Rules, and exceptions to them, for comparatives and superlatives

Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
adverbs and adjectives, CIO, comparatives and superlatives, ESL

Which is correct? Some human engineering efforts are so blatant that they fool only the ________ end users. a. most stupid b. stupidest

January 8, 2013  9:08 PM

Is it OK to use “anymore” other than in negative constructions? I’m not positive anymore.

Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
anymore or any more, CIO

  Which is correct? I take pictures with my smartphone more often than my camera _________. a. these days b. anymore

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