PUGS Pointers #3
Here are more of my “PUGS Pointers”–another reason to polish your “PUGS” (avoiding miscommunication) plus tips on punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling.
WHY POLISH YOUR PUGS?
PUGS errors can cause confusion.
My older son, Tom, is a very busy professional, so a lot of our communication takes place via e-mail. One Sunday, I asked him what he wanted me to make for dinner that evening. His response was:
When you decide what you can say I decided this and if it’s not OK that’s OK.
It took me a while to decipher that. And when I asked my son for permission to quote it, his response was, “Did I write that? What on earth does it mean?” Even he didn’t know! Well, after reading that line several times, I came up with this:
“When you decide what, you can say, ‘I decided this,’ and if it’s not OK, that’s OK.”
Pretty confusing without the punctuation, is it?
Spacing Between Sentences
In material that will be typeset (books or articles), one space, not two, follows a period (or any other punctuation mark) at the end of a sentence.
back door (noun)
“Randy pounded on Jim’s back door.”
backdoor (adjective) means “indirect” or “devious”
“She suspected the men were involved in some kind of backdoor operation.”
fewer vs. less
Fewer refers to quantities/numbers.
“If you proofread your work carefully, you will get fewer rejections.”
Less refers to amounts.
“First drafts require less work than rewrites.”
harebrained (not hairbrained)