SPECIAL EDITION UWF WRITING LAB

GrammarWatch©

WORDS THAT MAKE YOU GO "HMMMM?!
(IS THAT RIGHT?)"

There's a fine balance between people expressing theirselves and their opinions.
—President Bush (from CNN Radio, 8/23/02 and 8/25/02)


1. We're in the business of loaning money.
2. This is the Smith resident.
3. It has been motioned and second that the meeting be adjourned.
4. All total, the averages are low.
5. We have already shown the video once.
6. He dove into the pool.
7. I wove them together.
8. contact lens
9. The cleaners shrunk the shirt.
10. We snuck in through the side door.
11. The movers drug the couch to the patio.
12. I have strived to do well.
13. On the behalf of
14. My UWF transcripts
15. cool, calm, and collective
16. the significance to that number
17. I enjoy to travel.
18. You need your driver licenses.
19. dressed to the nine
20. as a results
21. wrecked havoc
22. mistress of ceremony
23. raving reviews
24. I graduated UWF.
25. two jury summonses
26. gun-ho
27. whole `nother issue

FROM THE GRAMMAR GURU'S DESK


1. lending
2. residence
3. moved and seconded
4. All told
5. Both shown and showed are correct past participle forms.
6. Both dove and dived are correct past tense forms.
7. Both wove and weaved are correct past tense forms.
8. one - lens; two or more - lenses
9. Correct. Also shrank
10. Both snuck and sneaked are correct past tense forms.
11. dragged
12. Both strived and striven are correct past participle forms.
13. On behalf of
14. one transcript
15. cool, calm, and collected OR calm, cool, and collected
16. the significance of that number
17. traveling
18. one driver license OR driver's license
19. to the nines, meaning "to the highest degree"
20. as a result
21. wreaked havoc
22. mistress of ceremonies
23. rave reviews
24. I graduated from UWF.
25. Correct
26. gung-ho
27. Correct slang expression (some use whole other idea)

 

 

 

ON-THE-JOB GRAMMAR TIPS


Cannot help but is a double negative.
INCORRECT: We cannot help but cut our staff.
REVISED: We cannot avoid cutting our staff.

 

Use fewer with countable nouns and less with noncountable nouns.
Fewer members took the offer than we expected.
Fewer calories and less fat

 

Do not capitalize working or professional titles such as principal, vice president, sales associate, data clerk, and credit manager unless they are used with a name.

Periods and commas are always placed inside closing quotation marks.
The sales associate presented her findings in an essay entitled "Marketing Strategies in the 21st Century."

If you end a sentence with an abbreviation, do not use an extra period.
INCORRECT: The seminar is from 8:00 a.m. till 4:30 p.m..
REVISED: The seminar is from 8:00 a.m. till 4:30 p.m.

Don't use the pronoun they without an antecedent.
INCORRECT: In this office, they require you to type and edit all case studies.
REVISED: In this office, employees are required to type and edit all case studies.

 

When writing a comparison, use more for two; use most for more than two.
INCORRECT: Of the three applicants, she is more qualified.
REVISED: Of the three applicants, she is the most qualified.

To make a compound noun plural, change the form of the word that is clearly the most important. Consult your dictionary.
statutes of limitations bills of sale
passers-by sisters-in-law
attorneys general 

or 

attorney generals
runners-up court martials

Collective nouns such as team, committee, jury, group, band, choir, family, couple, faculty, and staff may be singular or plural depending on meaning: whether the members are considered collectively/as a group (singular) or individually/individual members acting separately (plural).
SINGULAR
A team of nurses is treating the patient.
The couple was married in 1955.
The jury has delivered its verdict.
PLURAL
Our team of professionals are very experienced.
The couple enjoy their children and grandchildren.
The couple were married in 1955.
The jury have gone their separate ways.
IF A PRONOUN FOLLOWS, USE IT AS A GUIDE.
The couple have renovated their apartment.

 

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