Words Matter! Get it right. 

I've become such a sign snob. I admit it. I swear there's a repressed Catholic school ruler-snapping nun buried in my DNA somewhere. Really people, learn how to use pronouns in regular speech. Check out Mary Norris's Between You And Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen if you don't believe my rants.

 

Remember: apostrophes show possession or missing letters, they don't make words plural. Why don't sign makers employ proofreaders? Anybody know?

 

More signs from my travels.

 

Tell me again what a taco owns?

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Signs of the times! 

Signs observed in my random meanderings around towns near and far. Proofreader for hire. Oh, I have more, but let's just think about how many chances there were to make these right before they were hung/installed/printed?

 

For what it's worth, I'd much rather fix things before they're printed/published. Hit me up if you need FINAL EYES before you FINALIZE.

 

An apostrophe does not make something plural.

 

 

Oh, goodness. 

 

Kathy's cookking is comming?

 

Yes, there is value in a sprinkler shutoff…

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Elevator Speech in 5 Easy Steps 

Who you are and what do you do? Figured it out? Can you introduce yourself and your talent or specialty to a stranger in one minute or less? With these 5 steps you’ll construct the perfect elevator speech - a 30-second verbal snapshot of what makes you - well, you.

 

All professionals must be able to explain their talents, products, or services in a few short sentences at a moment’s notice: the “elevator speech.” Do it quickly and succinctly and you’ll likely connect with a new ally, booker, customer, or…

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Change the View to Write About Yourself - With Feeling 

I'm constantly reminded of the power of words to persuade. Written words, spoken words, read words - and how 'bout those presidential debates for some word lessons. Spin!

 

 

While working on the musician bios and blurbs, I noticed a common thread. In promotional writing, people tend to focus on accomplishments and facts, and they leave out feelings. Think about it: feelings are what persuade.

 

To illustrate my point about putting feelings into promotional writing (and to show off just a teensy bit)…

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"Then" and "than" differentiated - easily. 

The words than and then look and sound very much alike. But, trust me, they are completely different, and I will show you how. These two words are mistaken for one another frequently. If this distinction is difficult for you to grasp right this minute, I'm betting that you'll never forget the difference by the time you've finished reading this post.

 

Than

 

Than is a conjunction that is used in comparisons: A conjunction is a word that joins or connects or compares two or more items or ideas or people…

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Pesky Pronouns 

I'm one of those annoying people who "gets" pronouns. And I'm also one of those people who is brazen enough to stop you mid-paragraph and correct the sentence that you just spoke if you blow it with compound pronouns, the ones connected with "and." Or, I'm snippy enough to put a note on your Facebook page if you goof up. Really, I do it. I'm moderately ashamed of my pronoun snobbery, only moderately.

 

Oh, how sad it is when I hear someone say, "Yeah, she gave my brother and I a present to share."

 

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Apostrophes on Parade 

All right, all right, I admit that I've been merciless in my defense of the poor overused apostrophe. The truth is that I love the little squiggly darlings. I can't stand to see them forced into uncomfortable and ill-fitting places. Nobody wants to look like an idiot, not even an apostrophe.

 

How 'bout some fun uses for 'em? Now, right there was a demonstration of one of the more delightful ways in which apostrophes get to play in the sandbox. They become stand-ins - actors and actresses, if you will.

 

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Oh My Goodness - at the university level, no less 

Oh, dear goodness. I feel so bad for the person responsible for final eyes on this project. Actually, with university funding cutbacks and staffing cutbacks, it's quite possible that nobody even asked for final eyes on this. "Even the best . . . fall prey to occasional typos" is NOT an acceptable write-off for a college commencement bulletin. Hey, the good news is that this particular graduating class will have a funny story at their 50th class reunion, by which time "pubic" might be a quite tame word…

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Apostrophe Protection Society Springs Into Action 

Oh, goodness' graciou's, I have seen so many use's of apostrophe's, lot's and lot's of them, ever'where. The poor thing's are being dragged into slavery doing work they were never meant to do. And, what is even worse is that they are not being used where they are needed. Yes, every one of those little darlings in the previous two sentences was enslaved inappropriately, and I did not use a single contraction, either. (I have been known to spell out to make a point.)

 

Here are a few examples seen in random…

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Stepping into the Web-O-Sphere - again! 

Hmmm, so I sold my business a few years ago and thought I was about to be semi-retired, and not worrying about websites - well, let's say that I thought that for a few months. Couple-a-few factors changed my mind. (1) I was a tad bored at times. (2) People were asking me for help with their word projects as soon as they learned that I was available. (3) My mind is still full of good stuff and I just can't quit - not quite. (4) I guess I'm still an entrepreneur and a customer service nut to the bone. (5)…

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Plural Not Possessive

Boys, Boy's, Boys', Boise - fooled you.

If your sentence or headline speaks of more than one boy, just add an "s" and be done with it. Leave the cute little apostrophe out of the game. Who's in Boise?

Yours, His, Hers, Theirs, Ours, Its

Honest - for real - I wouldn't kid you.

You don't need an apostrophe on these words. They are possessive all by themselves. They're not plural, they're just handy little words that use an "s" as easily as, well, "as" or "bonus" or "fits."

There - Their - They're - Thayer

THERE are three ways to spell that pesky word. Each of them is demonstrated right here, 'er, THERE. Be sure that THEY'RE used correctly, so that THEIR feelings don't become bruised. Oh, and the Thayer family lived next door to me once upon a time. Nice folks. :-)

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