Presented without further comment

I really don’t need to say anything more than is already said in these two articles. I’ve read them both and agree with their points. (And really–I’m not about to argue with Orwell.)

Here’s a link to an article at Forbes about poor grammar in the workplace which I found an enjoyable read in and of itself, and which links to this article at the Wall Street Journal that touches on several gaffes that I would also say are the most important issues–and that writers of any stripe (if you write a memo at your office, you’re a writer) should strive to correct in their own work.

Thank you to Scott Douglas for sending these to me this morning. While one focus of this blog is pointing out errors, another is providing materials and information about how to avoid making them in the first place, or linking to general articles like these two.


9 thoughts on “Presented without further comment

  1. Thank you for sharing these, Karen. Some grammar I am picky about when I hear it. Other times I just let it go. I still remember when proactive came into common usage. I still hate that word, but it’s now part of our language.


  2. Hi, Jeff! I’m the same way. “Proper grammar” is really very situational. I write very differently here than I did for my research papers, and my usage and word choice for a memo are entirely different from either of those.

    I think I need to rant for a bit on the problems of speaking a “living language.” Sometimes I’m of the opinion that we’d have a far easier time of it if we were able to kill it dead, so it would stop evolving.


  3. I have one thing that I’d like to ask about the first article and the “data” rule. Perhaps I’m just used to hearing it wrong, but I thought that “data” could be used as a plural or a collective noun. “Datum” is the singular, “data” is the plural, and “data” can also refer to a collection.

    It’s almost like when someone refers to a band; sometimes they use it as a collective and sometimes they use it as a plural. “Stone Temple Pilots are in the studio recording a new album.” “Stone Temple Pilots is one of the best bands to come out of the ’90s.”

    What say you?


  4. Hey, Anthony. I’m with you on this one. I’ve seen “data” used both as a plural and a collective. I would suggest developing an awareness of which fields use the word in which capacity, and tailoring any writing done to match that.

    Sometimes, the harder we try to nail down a usage, the slipperier it becomes.


  5. Thanks, Jeff! And yeah, I’m guaranteed to make mistakes in posts at some point. But at least then we can feature those posts on GRAMMARGEDDON! Nothing like a little recursive snark between friends. 🙂


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