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Monthly Error Hunt - Business Grammar and Usage

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Quiz yourself on your business grammar and word use skills.

September 2021 - Flaunted vs. Flouted

Hunter's colleagues were outraged when he flaunted the department rules by publishing his article with no editorial review.

Can you spot the error? If not, here is the correction:

Hunter's colleagues were outraged when he flouted the department rules by publishing his article with no editorial review.

Flaunted and flouted are common word choice errors.

  • Flaunted means "to display or obtrude oneself to public notice."
  • Flouted means "to treat with contemptuous disregard."

August 2021 - Thing or Think

The proposal is rambling and fails to reflect our real value. If Caleb thinks the board will accept this proposal he has another thing coming!

Can you spot the error? If not, here is the correction:

The proposal is unclear and fails to reflect our real value. If Caleb thinks the board will accept this proposal he has another think coming!

This is a word use error. "Thing" should be "think" in that example.

Historically, the correct phrase was "...he has another think coming." 

 Thing is acceptable usage now if the phrase stood alone, but with think proceeding thing directly in the sentence, it's unclear and sloppy because the first think doesn't relate syntactically if thing ends the sentence.

July 2021 - Bullet List Punctuation

Thank you so much for the follow-up details. As a final step, can you please:

  • enter the updated information on page three of your Vendor Application
  • update your company's information in the Vendor Portal
  • fill out the attached Banking Verification Form PDF
  • send me a copy of your W-9

We look forward to working with you!

Can you spot the error? If not, learn how to correct the mistake here.

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Take your grammar to the next level in our online self-paced Proofreading & Grammar course. 

Get the Details and Outline

June 2021 - Fewer or Less

I stopped at Staples yesterday before a meeting, knowing my boss would be annoyed with me if I were late. I picked up the five items I needed and headed to the checkout lane that indicated "10 Items or Less." The person in front of me had 17 items. I counted them. I was late for my meeting because of that person's thoughtlessness.

Can you spot the error? If not, learn how to correct the mistake here.

May 2021 - Comma Use with Appositives

I'm sorry for the delay shipping your order! My assistant, Carrie, will call you tomorrow to resolve this problem. She and I will continue working through the holiday until everything ships.

Can you spot the error? If not, learn how to correct the mistake here.

April 2021 - Bear or Bare

Thanks for baring with me. The final report will be uploaded in 15 minutes.

Can you spot the error? If not, learn how to correct the mistake here.

 

 

Mary Cullen

About the author

Mary Cullen

Mary founded Instructional Solutions in 1998, and is an internationally recognized business writing trainer and executive writing coach with two decades of experience helping thousands of individuals and businesses master the strategic skill of business writing. She excels at designing customized business writing training programs to maximize productivity, advance business objectives, and convey complex information. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Rhode Island, an M.A. in English Literature from Boston College, and a C.A.G.S. in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of New Hampshire.

Read Mary Cullen's Full Bio

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