UWF GRAMMAR HOTLINE,
MAY I HELP YOU?
Taken from the
UWF Grammar Hotline Log
Q: What salutation is
appropriate when a letter is being
sent to two people with Ph.D.'s?
A: Drs. Ronald and Mary Lowe-Evans --
Dear Drs. Evans and Lowe-Evans:
Drs. Gary and Marcia Howard -- Dear
Q: What is the plural of
these words: statute of
limitations and attorney
A: statutes of limitations; attorney generals OR
(American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed.)
Q: What's correct - Boss's
Day or Bosses' Day,
Secretary's Day or Secretaries' Day,
Day or Presidents' Day?
A: All are plural possessive: Bosses' Day,
Day, Presidents' Day (and Veterans' Day)
Q: Is it correct to use an
ampersand (&) with a comma in
the name of a company -- Bui, Davis, &
A: Omit the comma preceding the ampersand.
(Chicago Manual of Style)
Q: Is a colon correct
preceding a vertical or horizontal
Ex. Your portfolio should
include: a cover letter,
resume, and sample of your work
A: Do not use a colon after a verb or a preposition, even
if a list follows.
(Chicago Manual of Style and
Real Good Grammar, Too)
Q: In a business letter,
what salutation is appropriate
when you don't know the addressee's name?
A: Do one of the following: Use a descriptive title (Dear
Human Resources Director); use an attention
(ATTENTION: Human Resources Director); use
subject line (SUBJECT: Manager Position)
(Write on Target)
Q: Is it all right to make
up a word or to verb a noun?
Ex. The applicant was credentialized.
The DOT has four-laned the highway.
This report will not
A: Nonce words/neologisms are acceptable only if no
other word exists to convey the meaning. There is
need to create the word publicization
publicity already exists. Check a dictionary
(Millward's Handbook for Writers, 3rd Ed).
Q: Which is correct?
We reached a consensus. We
A: We reached a consensus.
(Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English)
Q: Are collective nouns
such as committee and jury
singular or plural?
A: Collective nouns may be singular or plural depending
on whether they refer to the groups as a unit or
individual members of the group acting
The committee has made its decision. Or The
committee disagree concerning the newest
(Real Good Grammar, Too)
Q: What's the abbreviation
for the plural of the
And what is the abbreviation of Association?
A: Mr. - Messrs.
(Scott Foresman Handbook of Usage)
Mrs. - Mmes. or Mmes
(Webster's Secretarial Handbook)
Assoc. or Assn.
Q: How do you make
abbreviations and numbers plural?
A: Form the plural by adding -s alone or -`s.
ATMs or ATM's
There are five 3's in my phone number.
(Chicago Manual of Style)
Q: Is a comma needed in
this date? January 2003
A: No comma is necessary with only two components of
Q: Is it appropriate to
write, type, or sign a business
document in red ink?
A: Though we could not find a source for this answer, we
know that common practice is to use blue or
ink for business documents.
1. IT IS IN PROGRESS
- So wrapped in red tape that
the situation is almost hopeless.
2. WE WILL LOOK INTO IT - By the time
makes a full turn, we assume you will have
3. A PROGRAM - Any assignment that
completed by one telephone call.
4. CONSULTANT (or expert) - Any
more than 50 miles from home (must have
5. TO ACTIVATE - To make copies and
names to the memo.
6. TO IMPLEMENT A PROGRAM - Hire
people and expand the office.
7. UNDER CONSIDERATION - Never heard
8. UNDER ACTIVE CONSIDERATION - We
looking in the files for it.
9. A MEETING - A mass mulling by
10. TO NEGOTIATE - To seek a meeting of
without a knocking together of heads.
11. RE-ORIENTATION - Getting used to
12. RELIABLE SOURCE - The person you just
13. INFORMED SOURCE - The person who told
guy you just met.
14. UNIMPEACHABLE SOURCE - The person
started the rumor originally.
15. A CLARIFICATION - To fill in the
with so many details that the foreground
16. WE ARE MAKING A SURVEY - We need
time to think of an answer.
17. NOTE AND INITIAL - Let's spread
responsibility for this.
18. SEE ME OR LET'S DISCUSS - You're in
19. LET'S GET TOGETHER ON THIS - I'm
you're as confused as I am.
20. GIVE US THE BENEFIT OF YOUR PRESENT
THINKING - We'll listen to what you have
to say as
long as it doesn't interfere with what we have
decided to do.
21. WILL ADVISE YOU IN DUE COURSE - If
figure it out, we'll let you know.
22. TAKE SOME DICTATION - Correctly type
document for me.
These errors were taken from actual business
correspondence and advertising materials.
References available a pone request
Thank you for your corporation.
Up and atom
Selling and satisfying our customers is our
One of the best sailing cars in the
Patriotic launch menus
A hand full of employees
Money must be paid before hands.
Supervisors need patients.
A combonation of skill
Car being toad
Next store neighbor
A doggy dog world
Conflict in the dessert
Flags will be flied over
Free, private consolation
No dying in washing
We will offer you a prescription to
Make sure that the placement of titles, headlines, tables, headers and
footers, text, etc. is consistent.