I am studying, The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier: How to Solve the Mysteries of Weak Writing, by Bonnie Trenga. This are my notes from her “Top Ten Writing Misdemeanors.”
it’s vs. its
The only time it’s should be used is if you can substitute the words “it has” or “it is” in the sentence.
who’s vs. whose
who’s means “who is” or “who has”
whose is possessive: Whose book? Whose car?
Cliches: Here’s a list of cliches to avoid like the plague (see what I did there)
Similar Sounding Words
A hyphenated compound come before what it is describing. It doesn’t need to be hyphenated if it comes after what it describes.
1. Example: The red-haired children jumped on the trampoline.
2. Example: The children who jumped on the trampoline were red haired.
Fewer vs. Less
- Fewer is used when an item is countable.
- Example: There were fewer pencils in the drawer than before the party.
- Less is used when and item is uncountable.
- Example: There were less stars visible in the city sky than the country sky.
Generic Vocabulary & Phrases the Bore Readers
is able to