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Subject-Verb Agreement for Organizations

By Judy Vorfeld Have you ever won­dered if it’s okay to say, “The cor­po­ra­tion had their records audited” or whether you should say, “The cor­po­ra­tion had its records audited”? This is a subject-verb agree­ment issue. Let’s begin by review­ing what style guides say regard­ing this issue: “Is a corporation […]

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Suspended Hyphens

By Judy Vorfeld Welcome to the world of sus­pended hyphens. When one or more hyphen­ated adjec­tives** has a com­mon basic ele­ment and this ele­ment is shown only with the last term, insert a sus­pend­ing hyphen after each of the incom­plete adjec­tives to indi­cate a rela­tion­ship with the last term. What does […]

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Six Confusing Words Beginning with C

By Judy Vorfeld Time to look at three pairs of words that give many peo­ple prob­lems. Criteria vs. Criterion “Criteria” is plural (like “phe­nom­ena”), while “cri­te­rion” is sin­gu­lar, like “phe­nom­e­non.” You have one cri­te­rion or many cri­te­ria. It’s easy to be con­fused, since some words (e.g., “data” […]

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Business Salutations

By Judy Vorfeld Recently some­one asked, “Is it still proper to address a let­ter to a com­pany as: DEAR SIR OR MADAM?” According to The Gregg Reference Manual, Tenth Edition, by William A. Sabin, if you don’t know the names of any­one in a large orga­ni­za­tion, but know there are both […]

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Redundant Words and Phrases

Write Powerfully: Avoid Useless Words and Phrases By Judy Vorfeld “Reckless writ­ers and slip­shod speak­ers use many words where few would do,“says Owl Editing. “Yet for all the words, their expres­sion is but impov­er­ished; more words do not nec­es­sar­ily sig­nify more mean­ing.” Do you pub­lish a newslet­ter, have […]

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