Grammar tips

Dictionary

10 common English language mistakes

(Plus one you may think is an error, but isn’t). One of the wonderful features of the English language is its flexibility. We have a staggering range of words to choose from, whatever we are trying to say. And the ease with which we adopt new words and spread these around the world is a true example of globalisation. But writing in the English language is fraught with opportunities for error and confusion. Avoiding mistakes is not just a pastime…

10 common English language mistakes was last modified on June 30th, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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What to do with a comma

Those little black squiggles cause endless confusion. To prevent your brain from frying, here’s some help on how to use commas to get your business messages across more clearly. For help with copywriting, proofreading or editing any of your business documents, contact Proof Communications on 02 8036 5532 or 0411 123 216 or head to the contact page.

What to do with a comma was last modified on June 16th, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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Learn

Clear business writing: getting the upper hand on upper case

Writers who feel compelled to use Capital Letters for no Apparent Reason make Everything seem Important or Formal, creating confusion for readers. Avoid incensing your audience by following these simple rules. Proper Nouns Proper nouns, which could refer to a place, person, event, or thing, are always capitalised in English. To name but a few, proper nouns include people’s names, names of businesses or organisations, place names, nationalities, cities and rivers, and months of the year. Interestingly, the four seasons…

Clear business writing: getting the upper hand on upper case was last modified on May 26th, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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commaleon

Comma chameleon – How commas can change the shape of a sentence

Did you know that Australian author Peter Carey won the 2001 Booker Prize for True History of the Kelly Gang – a work that contained not a single comma? Amazing, huh? Of course, one might wonder why he bothered, but still. And, whilst you may not be writing anything within coo-ee of such a magnum opus yourself, it’s still a good idea to know how useful those little black squiggles can be in getting your business messages across more clearly.…

Comma chameleon – How commas can change the shape of a sentence was last modified on May 7th, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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proofreading

Red Faces at Yellow Pages – and how not to let the same happen to you

Typos can have a highly detrimental effect on a business. And no one knows that more than Banner Travel Agency owner, Gloria Quinan. Back in 1988, when the world relied on telephone books, Gloria’s listing in the Yellow Pages advertised her business as offering ‘International and Erotic Travel’. An appalled Gloria said, ‘We offer exotic travel, like tours up the Amazon, but nothing erotic.’ To make matters worse, the offending word was emblazoned in red across her prominent advertisement. Gloria’s…

Red Faces at Yellow Pages – and how not to let the same happen to you was last modified on April 16th, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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Time to Write, Type Writer

Don’t fall into these four common grammar traps!

The extra comma  Ah, the debate about the use of the extra comma. One only has to look at the well-known question, ‘What is this thing called love?’ to realise the extraordinary power of a little black squiggle to change that sentence’s meaning entirely when inserted after ‘called’. Try it, and you’ll see what we mean. Commas, of course, are used to separate items in a list. For example: ‘I bought wine, gin, tequila, and more wine.’ Note that extra…

Don’t fall into these four common grammar traps! was last modified on April 9th, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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Write

Everyone can write, right?

Most can write, but most can’t write well! Writing is hard: it’s not only thinking up the ideas, but articulating them, linking them together and crafting them into a neat package. It takes practice – and sometimes many attempts to get right. Here are some of the traps that novice writers often fall into: Choosing difficult words: Overly formal language is usually a turn off for readers. If there is a simpler everyday alternative that you can use, then do…

Everyone can write, right? was last modified on July 1st, 2019 by Proof Communications Author
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proofreading scrap paper

What does a proofreader actually do?

If you’re writing a document that will be read by your board, your management team, investors, other stakeholders, clients or prospective clients, you’ll naturally want the content to be the best it can be. That’s where an experienced proofreader comes in. If there’s a risk that there are typos or other errors in the document, professional proofreading is vital. A proofreader doesn’t suggest major edits or rewrites. A proofreader is there to very carefully read through the content to identify…

What does a proofreader actually do? was last modified on June 13th, 2019 by Proof Communications Author
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Proofreading hands at computer

How to avoid mistakes in your important business documents

It would be a crying shame if a document you’ve spent countless hours working on is riddled with errors when it’s released online or in print. Consider the recent $50 note fiasco. It’s usually only later, after the document has been read by a few people, that the mistakes become obvious. You probably ask colleagues to proofread your important documents. When we’re asked to proofread annual and business reports, financial statements, PDSs, RAPs, tenders or proposals, clients often tell us:…

How to avoid mistakes in your important business documents was last modified on June 5th, 2019 by Proof Communications Author
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Proofread

Sorry, use this version instead

The oft-used email subject line ‘Sorry, use this version instead’ can have a myriad of stories behind it, but most often it’s to email an updated version of a document that was emailed only a short time ago. The reason? Usually, because many people are involved in contributing to the document’s content, which results in a myriad of changes. Even with version control, it’s extremely easy for a document’s quality to diminish during the writing and editing process. Annual reports,…

Sorry, use this version instead was last modified on May 29th, 2019 by Proof Communications Author
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