WRITING TIPS PART 2
Abbreviated Word Problems or Word Slang
50. The word is "advertisement," not ad.
51. The word is "diskette," not disk or disc.
52. The word is "examination", not exam.
53. The word is "facsimile transmission," not fax.
GOOD: The Clerk sent the Purchase Order by facsimile
GOOD: The Clerk transmitted a facsimile of the Purchase Order
54. The word is "telephone," not phone.
55. The word is "through," not thru.
56. The word is "photocopy," not copy if you reproduce a document on a photocopier. If you print a form from a computer, do not use the expression "make a copy" as you are implying a photocopy is made. If you use a computer to produce a document, you "print" four Purchase Orders. Do not use the term carbon copy if you did not use carbon paper. Use the expression duplicate copy.
A. Carbonated means something contains carbon dioxide such as a soft drink. Carbon or graphite impregnated paper that is put between two pieces of paper so that writing on the top page is duplicated on the second page is called carbon paper.
57. The word is "photograph," not photo.
58. The word is "until," not til or till. "Till" is a cash drawer.
59. The word is "videotape," not tape. Tape could mean adhesive tape.
Specific Word Misuse
60. "Accept" means to receive. "Except" means to exclude.
61. "Achieved" means to gain, to reach, or to attain by exertion. "Completed" means to bring to an end, or to carry out fully. The Clerk's work was completed for the day.
62. "Advise" is a verb meaning to counsel. "Advice" is a noun meaning the actual
BAD: The Supervisor gives advise.
GOOD: The Supervisor gives advice.
BAD: The Employer advices the Supervisor.
GOOD: The Employer advises the Supervisor.
63. "Affect" is a verb meaning to influence, change, or produce an effect. "Effect" as a noun means a result. If "effect" is used as a verb, it means to bring a result to pass.
64. "Against" means in opposition to or in the direction of. "With" means to compare for equality.
A. "Versus" is used to contrast alternatives or in court cases. The word is versus, not vs. except when you are writing about a court case and the title of the case uses vs. then it is permissible not to use versus.
65. "Allude" is to hint at or refer to something. "Elude" is something that escapes you.
66. Do not use the expression "a lot." It is weak writing. Use the term "often."
BAD: The Clerk makes mistakes a lot.
GOOD: The Clerk often makes mistakes.
67. "Already" means by this time. "All ready" means completely prepared.
68. "Always means all the time. "All ways" means in every way.
69. "Alter" means to make different without changing the item into something
else. "Change" means to make the item different or replace with another.
70. "As compared to" means in the same manner or degree. If you were
comparing two companies financial statement entries that would be
the appropriate expression. "When compared with or to" means at the
time of an event. This is the expression
to use when you are comparing an Invoice to the Purchase Order.
71. "Assist" means to lend aid in a personal way. Computers cannot assist
with record keeping. Computers can be used for record keeping.
72. "Assure" is something you do to remove a person's doubt. "Ensure"
is something you do to guarantee that something goes as promised.
"Insure" means to limit financial liability.
73. The word "back" means a part of the body, behind, return, or to support. Do not write gives back, sends back, receives back, or calls back. You return items, you receive items, and you return calls or call.
"Return" as a noun means to come to a former place or condition. Return as a verb means to restore to a previous condition. You cannot return a deposit slip to the bank or file cabinet if the deposit slip was not there in the first place!
74. "Beside" means next to. "Besides" means in addition to.
75. "Between" means separating two things or connecting two things.
"Among" is associated with more than two things.
A. "Amongst" is the old, archaic version of among, so do not use it.
Borrow" means to get something with the intention of returning it. "Lend" means to let someone have something you expect to get back.
77. "Bring" and "take" are directional verbs. Bring means toward while take means away. I bring my lunch to work. I take my work home to complete.
78. "By," "with," and "according to" are different. By means near or through the means of work. With means being together or in the company of. According to means in agreement. Books are written "by" authors. The bookshelf is "by" the door. It is the bookshelf "with" the green book. When you discuss the content of the book, you say "according to" the author.
79 "Capital" means funding or the location of the seat of government. Richmond is the capital of Virginia. "Capitol" is a building where legislative business occurs.
80. "Censor" is a supervisor of public morality. "Sensor" is the reception and transmission of sense impressions. Therefore, a security system uses a motion sensor.
81. "Compliment" means to praise. People compliment one another. "Complement" means to complete. Donuts complement coffee.
82. "Comprise" means the whole is made of parts. "Compose" means the parts make the whole. The United States comprises fifty states. Fifty states compose the United States.
83. "Conscience" is a person's idea of right and wrong. "Conscious" means to be aware.
84. "Continual" means an action will be going on over time with breaks or interruptions. "Continuous" means an action will go on over time without pauses.
85. "Currency" is paper money, thus cash does not necessarily equal currency. "Cash" usually means currency and coins.
86. "Desert" is a hot, dry place. "Dessert" is what you have after dinner.
87. "Determine" means to set limits, to resolve a situation, or to give direction
to. "Establish" means to confirm or found permanently or to prove
without doubt. "Affirm" means to testify. "Confirm" means to approve
or to assure or to validate.
BAD: The Clerk establishes the amount of the error.
GOOD: The Clerk determines the amount of the error.
GOOD: The Clerk confirms the data entry does not equal the
amount on the form.
88. "Different from" is correct usage for comparison. "Different than" should
never be used.
89. "Down" is an adverb meaning toward the ground. Do not use write down, or copy down. You write, or you copy. You can turn down the bed. You can burn down a barn.
90. "Duplicate" and "triplicate," when used as nouns, mean one of either two or three identical copies. Duplicate and triplicate, when used as verbs, mean to make additional copies.
BAD: The Clerk completed the duplicated form.
GOOD: The Clerk completed the duplicate of the form.
GOOD: The Clerk duplicated the completed form on a photocopier.
BEST: The Clerk completed the two-part form.
91. "Every day" means something happens day after day. "Everyday" is
an adjective meaning commonplace.
92. "Every one" means each of a particular group. "Everyone" means all people.
93. "Expired" means to come to an end or conclude. "Empty" means void
94. "Express" is a verb meaning to put into words or represent by language. "Make" is a verb meaning to bring into being or to establish.
BAD: Employees express suggestions for improvement.
GOOD: Employees make suggestions for improvement.
95. "Farther" means distance. "Further" means in addition to.
96. "Fewer" means not as many. It is a plural word referring to things that can be counted. "Less" means not as much. It is singular and refers to quantity.
97. "Fill" means to make full or to supply the things needed. "Fulfils" or "fulfill" means to carry out something promised.
98. "Flounder" is a fish, or to struggle, like a fish out of water. "Founder" means to sink.
99. "Foul" means to make filthy, to disgrace, or to obstruct. "Fowl" is a bird.
100. "Grisly" means horrible. "Grizzly" is a bear.
101. "Historic" means the thing being referred to is important. "Historical" is broader
meaning concerned with or relating to history. The walk on the moon was an
102. "Imply" means to suggest something without actually saying it. A speaker or writer implies. "Infer" means to arrive at a conclusion because of the evidence presented. A listener or reader infers.
103. Limit the use of the word "in" as a verb. "In" indicates spatial inclusion or location within, means, or purpose. "In" is a preposition or adverb. Therefore you should not use descriptions like bring in, take in, and set in as location is implied. You bring or brought, you take or took, and you set.
BAD: The student brought in their homework to class.
GOOD: The student brought their homework to class.
A. "Inside" can pose additional problems. Do not use it as a substitute for "in." "Inside" means internal or within.
B. The words "into" and "in" are very tricky. "Into" indicates entry or motion, insertion, or contact with. Remember "in" indicates spatial inclusion or location within, means, or purpose. To be safe grammatically use "in" unless you are positive the word "into" is correct.
GOOD: Went into the room. Entered into an agreement. Ran into a problem.
GOOD: Put files in the safe. Recorded in a ledger. Entered data in
104. "Irregardless" is not a word.
105. "Lay" means to place or put something down. The past tense is laid or laying. "Lie" means to rest or be in a horizontal position. The past tense is lay or lying.
106. "Lead," the noun, is a heavy metal. "Lead," the verb, means to guide. "Led" is the past tense of the verb lead meaning that in the past, you guided someone to Webb Center.
107. "Learn" means to acquire knowledge. "Teach" means to impart knowledge. Faculty do not "learn" students accounting. "Educate" means to provide schooling. "Train" means to drill for a test or a skill.
108. "Loan" is a noun. "Lend" is a verb.
109. "Loose" is not tight or unfastened. "Lose" means to misplace or get away.
110. Do not use the expressions "match together" or "attach together." They are redundant. You match or you attach.
111. "Mind" means intelligence or to pay attention to. "Mine" means belonging to me.
112. "None" means not a single one so it gets a singular verb. "None was" is correct. "None were" is incorrect.
113. "Notate" means spotted or striped. Try using the word note as "note" means to record.. "Annotate" is a verb that means to write down. "Notation" is a noun so you must add a verb to mean you write on a form.
BAD: The Clerk notated the difference.
GOOD: The Clerk noted the difference.
GOOD: The Clerk annotated the difference.
GOOD: The Clerk made a notation of the difference.
A. "Denoting" means to be a sign of.
BAD: The Clerk completes the transaction denoting the form of payment.
GOOD: The Clerk completes the transaction noting the form of payment.
114.. Do not use the expression "nothing else." The proper term is "anything else."
115. "Obtain" means to hold on to or possess. "Attain" means to get by effort.
BAD: The Clerk attained the document from the customer.
GOOD: The Clerk obtained the document from the customer.
116. "Of" is often used superfluously. Do not write could of, had of, ought of, or off of. "Of" means with a specific object. "For" means in place of or on behalf of.
BAD: The Vendor sends the price of supplies.
GOOD: The Vendor sends the price of the supplies.
GOOD: The Vendor sends the price for the supplies.
The Supervisor runs the reports for the week. This means there are reports every week.
The Supervisor runs the reports of the week. This means only select reports are run.
117. "Off" is an adverb meaning no longer on. Do not use expressions such as mails off, sends off, or pays off. You mail letters, you send information, and you pay bills. You can put off, drop off, or take off. But these phrases do not sound as impressive as delay, deliver, or leave. Read the sentence omitting the word "out" to see if the sentence makes sense.
118. Be aware of problems with the word "on." "On" means upon or toward. Do not use expand on, displays on, or paying on. You may expand upon a topic, display upon a table, or you may expand the dimensions of a room. You pay bills. Pay particular attention to the use of "on" when you are discussing computers. You log on a computer and you log off a computer. You log into your account or you access a file or program. You can try on, turn on, and hang on. Again, try reading the sentence without the word "on."
A. "Onto" means to be aware of or it implies movement toward something. The door opens onto the hall.
119. The word "or" indicates a choice.
BAD: The Clerk decides whether to pay and not pay the Invoices.
GOOD: The Clerk decides whether to pay or not pay the Invoices
120. Limit the use of the word "out." "Out" is an adverb, not a verb. Therefore you should not use descriptions like paid out, printed out, gets out, takes out, and fills out. You paid, you printed, you got or retrieved, you took, and you completed or filled in. You can go out, but I would leave. Machines do wear out though! Try reading the sentence without the word "out."