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Our favorite tip: “Keep the language crisp and pungent; prefer the forthright to the pompous and ornate.” Certainly applies to writing for the ear as well…! (We’re assuming that’s the only thing Acoustiguide and the CIA have in common…as for “Weird Al’- well, that remains to be seen.)
Some of us are full-fledged grammar geeks. Some of us remember sitting in Sister Munch’s 5th grade class, learning how to diagram sentences. Some of us remember obsessing over the distinctions between “to lie” and “to lay” and thus annoying our friends. So it’s no wonder we work at a place where we get to pick over such details every.single.day.
Herewith, some of our team’s favorite grammar pet peeves:
• Over-hyphenation (yes, I do realize that I've hyphenated that). For instance, "a contingent of first-responders." I think the meaning is perfectly clear without the hyphen.
• “Between you and I" and "I could care less," which says the opposite of what it means, but has almost driven out the correct "couldn't."
• Splitting infinitives and using ‘they’ when it should be ‘he or she’. People make those errors because sometimes it seems like there’s only two options – being grammatically incorrect or sounding pompous. There’s usually an elegant alternative, though, if you’re prepared to devote ridiculous amounts of time to the problem.
• The overuse of the word ‘that” – see here: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/when-to-leave-out-that