Wednesday, January 12, 2005

How to improve writing (no. 2 in a series)

From an invitation to an evening of financial aid information:

This is open to all studetns and parents that are going to be attending in the fall and to those that have decided to further their education elsewhere.
It's always good to avoid this alone--it's a weak word and often vague in its reference (and here I thank Jim Doyle, James P. Doyle, Dr. Doyle, who called me on this when I was a college freshman).

Studetns is a reminder to always use a spellchecker. Though it can't substitute for proofreading, it'll at least find some typos.

Who not that is appropriate for people.

The real problem here though is that the writer hasn't read the sentence carefully--it's students who'll be attending in the fall, not their parents. An improved version might read as follows:
This evening is open to students who will be attending in the fall, students who have decided to further their education elsewhere, and all parents.
Link » Other How to improve writing posts, via Pinboard

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