Thursday, April 10, 2014
Today we present examples of miscellaneous errors that may confuse your readers.
Using a general verb instead of a specific verb
“...the use of these ubiquitous texting shortcuts is negatively altering their ability to identify and use correct grammar.” (Source)
When you feel that you must add an adverb to a verb, you’re probably using a verb that’s too general. Above, for example, the writer used the general verb alter and probably sensed that she must add an adverb to make it more specific. But it’s still too general. She should have just used a more-specific verb; for example, hinder, hurt, reduce, dull or destroy.
Misuse of preposition
“They (the big corporate contributors) tried this (bribery) to me in Minnesota.” (Source)
The natural preposition here is on: “They tried this on me.”
“emotionally charged social and political implications” (Source)
An implication is a concept; it cannot carry or hold or experience an emotional charge. A person can experience an emotion as a reaction to recognizing an implication. The writer should have decided what emotion she had in mind and should have rewritten the passage. For example, she could have written “frightening social and political implications.”
The Takeaway: Whenever you are writing something for publication – even if it’s “just” a blog – try to have an experienced editor read your copy.