Grammar Giggles – They Filed a Complaint Was Filed

This was in a newsletter I recently received and shows that when writing content and then revising that content, it is important to actually read what it says once edits are done.

GG Complaint was filed

Random Information

As I’m getting back into the blogging swing, we’ll catch up with some random information this week.

Professional and Personal Titles. When using a professional title, do not use a personal title. For instance, Mr. John Jones, Esq. is incorrect. So is Dr. Julie Smith, M.D. Choose one or the other.

Plurals of Personal Titles. When addressing more than one person, you can pluralize the titles.

  • The plural of Mr. is Messrs.
  • The plural of Ms. is Mses. or Mss.
  • The plural of Mrs. or Mme. is Mmes.
  • The plural of Miss is Misses

Pages and lines. When you are referring to pages and/or lines in another document, you use “p.” for one page or “pp.” for multiple pages and “l.” for one line and “ll.” for multiple lines. Always pay attention to the range of your citation. If you are citing to a deposition excerpt at pages and lines 13:15-15:20, it would be pp. 13:15-15:20. Sometimes the writer will start with one page and just use “p.” everywhere, but if the citation is to multiple pages, you should change it.

Periods With Contractions. Do not use a period after a contraction. For instance, in my recent travels, I saw a sign for a national park that said “Nat’l. Park.” That is incorrect. “Nat’l” is a contraction for “National,” not an abbreviation, so it should not have a period at the end.

Signing Letters and Emails. When a non-attorney is using a signature block in a letter or an email, they should always include their title, i.e., Legal Assistant, Paralegal, etc., so the recipient knows that the communication is not from an attorney.

That is enough randomness for now. If you have random questions, leave a comment below and watch for the response in an upcoming post.

Grammar Giggles – Fee Wi-Fi

With apologies for the hiatus–work and life got in the way–but now I’m back and attempting to get back on schedule! Part of my time recently has been driving back and forth to Albuquerque to pick up and then drop off three of the grandchildren for a visit with their cousins (and us . . . when they had to) in the Phoenix area. The first trip over, I saw this sign near Gallup but was not ready with camera in hand to capture the picture. The second trip over I was ready. There are a couple of possibilities for this error. First, it could just be a case of extremely factual advertising or, second, they could have left a letter out. I’m guessing it is the latter because the fact that you charge for wi-fi when the other 30 signs for other hotels within a mile or two of this sign all tout free wi-fi seems a little like not really wanting the business. I’m anxiously awaiting my next trip because I saw a sign on the way back that I wasn’t ready for . . .

image (12)

CLARIFICATION–Numbers–Words Or Figures?

One of the blog readers had a great question on the last post about numbers. I should have made it clear that in legal agreements and pleadings, using both words and figures for numbers leaves out any doubt about what number you are talking about–UNLESS there is an error in either the word or the figure version of the same number, so proofread those numbers carefully. For instance, when stating an amount of money, number, or a percentage in a legal document, you should write out the amount in words and then include the figures in parentheses.

Buyer agrees to pay Seller the sum of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) upon the signing of this Agreement, fifty percent (50%) of the remaining balance thirty (30) days after the date of this Agreement, and the entire remaining balance sixty (60) days after the date of this Agreement.

When you use both words AND figures in this way, it is absolutely clear and leaves one less thing to be litigated later. Thank you to Kim for asking the question to allow me to clarify.

Numbers–Words Or Figures?

A quick post this week about numbers. Here are a few rules:

  • Generally, spell out numbers one through ten and use figures for numbers over ten.
    • We had three printers on my floor.
    • There were 14 secretaries in the firm.
  • When you have numbers both below ten and above ten, use figures for all of them.
    • There were 4 paralegals working with the 20 associates.
  • You can use figures for numbers one through ten when you want to make sure there is quick comprehension.
    • Lines 1 through 3 on page 8 of the deposition should be highlighted.
    • Candidate number 3 would be the best fit.
  • Figures should always be used for statistical material, i.e., clock time, money, sports scores, academic grades, percentages, etc.
    • The gum was on sale for $1 per pack.
    • The Patriots won 4-2.
  • Use words for fractions and nontechnicalornonemphatic references to age, periods of time, and measurements.
    • My granddaughter just turned seven years old.
    • The cost for the apartment was one-half of her monthly salary.
  • Numbers in millions or higher should be the figure and the word representing the designation.
    • There were at least 20 million people in the stadium.

These are the simple rules regarding numbers. If you have other questions about numbers or questions about other proofreading topics, please let me know at