Grammar Giggle – NFL News

A local newspaper was apparently so intent on getting news out about rumors of a possible NFL trade that they forgot to read the news story. Here is just one paragraph of that story that I found three errors in–and I’m not even a real football fan!

Grammar Giggle – Hot Mess Memories

My brother sent this to me from a local newspaper remembering a drive-in theatre in Mesa. “It’s” is one of those words that does not follow the normal possession rules. The only time to use “it’s” is as a contraction of “it is.” If “it” owns something, it is simply “its.”

Plus, if you are talking about decades, they got it right the second time–the last two numerals of the decade, no apostrophe, and “s.” You wouldn’t spell it out once and then use numerals once.

Finally, “til” isn’t a word. It should be “until.” However, Merriam Webster and the Urban Dictionary disagree and say that “’til” is a contraction for “until,” but not in formal writing. That means that even though this wouldn’t be considered “formal” writing, this example is still incorrect since there is no apostrophe to indicate the “un” is missing.

Grammar Giggles – How Many Days Does January Have?

I received this in response to an email I sent out. I realize that 2020 messed with our heads, but there are still only 31 days in January in 2021. It is important to review your out of office email after you type it to make sure it reads the way you want it to.

Grammar Giggle – 10, 100, Not Much Difference

I saw this online. It appears someone got carried away with the zeros and instead of 10 people sickened, they initially reported that it was 100. That’s quite a difference in the number of people affected, which makes for bad news in my book.

Emirates

Grammar Giggle – Really Old

A friend sent this to me and I mean no disrespect to Chester Bennington, but this is a pretty glaring error. He was born in 1976. This is an instance where transposition is inexcusable. Didn’t someone actually look at it before it was sent out?

Grammar Giggle – Textspeak Is Not Appropriate For A Government Page

A friend sent this to me. Unfortunately, it is part of the City Clerk’s webpage for the City of Apache Junction here in Arizona. Apache Junction already has a not-so-great reputation in the Valley of the Sun, but it is my current home. I’m not sure how this actually got published as it is a hot mess.

City of AJ orig

“No 1”? Really? I assume they mean “No one is allowed.” Six words later, they are breaking the Gregg Reference Manual rule on spelling out numbers from one to ten unless the number needs to stand out to be comprehended or is in statistical information. I don’t consider that sentence statistical information nor do I think that the numbers need to be used instead of the words to be comprehended. Then, the comma after “jurisdictions” should be a semicolon since the sentence is two independent clauses and the comma could be replaced by “and.” It could also be two separate sentences, but the way it is written is confusing. Come on, AJ, you’re not doing your reputation any favors!

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 proofthatblog@gmail.com.