Quality Writing Moves Your Message, But Mistakes Kill It, Part V

skills for business writing and professionals
Get Your Arms Around Topnotch Writing, Part IV
August 29, 2019
Down Memory Lane, PHS Style
March 14, 2020
how to write more professionally.

how to write more professionally.

  1. Don’t split infinitives. An infinitive is the word “to” with a verb. If you stick something in between the “to” and the verb, you have split an infinitive. Incorrect: He wants to loudly sing. Correct: He wants to sing loudly. Incorrect: The drill team colonel tried to quickly finish the routine. Correct: The drill team colonel tried to finish the routine quickly.
  2. Watch those colons. You can use a colon after a complete sentence to explain the sentence. You are introducing a list, phrase, or quotation. Incorrect: People talk for: the satisfaction of hearing themselves and the joy of chattering. Correct: People love California for three main reasons: great weather, beautiful beaches, and unlimited entertainment.
  3. Avoid the comma slice and run-on sentences. This mistake is so common in texts and emails that it seems some people have forgotten that run-ons are not acceptable. Incorrect: The sisters went shopping, they always had fun. Correct: The sisters went shopping. They always had fun. Incorrect: Ethan meant to study for finals, however he got caught up in gaming. Correct: Ethan meant to study for finals; however, he got caught up in gaming.
  4. Put the comma in the right place in a quotation. When you quote someone, the comma goes inside, not outside. Example: “Yes, I’m rambunctious,” said Miley Cyrus. Wrong: “Yes, I’m rambunctious”, said Miley Cyrus. (YES, this is done incorrectly in the answers on “Jeopardy” all the time!)
  5. Proofread carefully. Have someone do a second proofing. Make sure your message is clean and crisp and mistake-free. Your credibility is at stake!