Monday, November 13, 2006

Trouble with some words

I've noticed some recurring themes on problems with certain words in students' writing. They include:

• When referring to the size of something in page design (i.e., a big photo), it's a dominant photo, not a dominate photo.

• It vs. they. When referring to a council, band, university or group, it's it, not they. Watch agreement! It's correct to use they if you first say council members, band members, etc.

• A reminder: There's no such thing as first annual. You have to have a second event before it becomes annual.

• And speaking of thing/things (as in the sentence above), try to avoid those words in your writing. They're vague and a weak word choice.

• Don't forget AP style on time. It's p.m. and a.m. — lower case and with periods. And when you use night with time, it's redundant to say p.m. That would be at 8 Wednesday night, not 8 p.m. Wednesday night.

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