Once upon a time, I wrote for my city newspaper. The day I went into this amazing place called the Star-Banner I was super young. Nineteen, in fact. And so, so excited.
My new editor showed me around then took me back to the office and explained things. Then he handed me a sheet of paper with common errors correspondents make.
I thought I'd share them.
1. A person should be referred to as a "who," not a "that." A "that" is an inanimate object. A "who" is a person. (LOL Just fixed a few of these in my manuscript)
2. Why is every "majority" a vast majority? Are there no longer any simple majorities?
3. Erstwhile, discreet, discrete, fame, infamy, compliment, complement, principal, principle: Make sure you know what the words you are using mean. *input from me> Watch out with the thesaurus. It shows words that are similar but they don't always mean the same thing. A dictionary is a great tool.*
4. "As follows" is, in most cases, empty verbiage.
Poor: The new officers are as follows: John Smith, president; Jane Doe...
Better: The new officers are: John Smith, president; Jane Doe...
5. Desert, Dessert- I'll bet I've read about literally hundreds of functions where hot, dry sand was served after the main course (LOL, I can totally hear my editor's dry humor here)
This wraps up lesson 1. I studied this paper many times during the beginning of my writer days.
Have you ever made any of these boo-boos? Do you have a cheat sheet like me? What's it say?