If you’re a crossword puzzle aficionado, you know that an “olio” is a miscellaneous collection (related to another frequent crossword answer, “olla,” or stew). Today, see if you can correct or refine these sentences from an olio of sources.
1. (Opening sentence of an online announcement from a dictionary company.) As part of our inner circle, we invite you to experience a sneak preview of our exciting new site relaunch.
2. (Title of an online article.) 40 Jokes That You’ll Only Get If You’re A Grammar Nerd
3. (Newspaper headline.) Buzzards’ return to Hinckley Reservation means Spring is near
1. As part of our inner circle, we invite you to experience a sneak preview of our exciting new site relaunch.
A) We have our old nemesis the dangling modifier. “We,” the folks writing you, are not part of the inner circle; “you” are. B) Watch out for “new,” often redundant. (A relaunch is new, right?) C) Watch out for the overuse of “exciting” in making announcements. (Notice how often individuals in TV coverage of an event use the word “exciting” or “excited.”) It may not be easy to think of a fresher or more exacting word, but we should try – or maybe just forgo an adjective. So we might wind up with this: As part of our inner circle, you are invited to experience a sneak preview of our site relaunch.
2. 40 Jokes That You’ll Only Get If You’re A Grammar Nerd
Although we should not start sentences with a numeral (except for a few exceptions, like a year), that’s fine in a title. But we do need to make three changes: A) Delete the unnecessary “That.” B) Move “Only” in front of “If,” where it belongs. C) Make the article “A” lowercase. Our revised title is 40 Jokes You’ll Get Only If You’re a Grammar Nerd.
3. Buzzards’ return to Hinckley Reservation means Spring is near
We’ll conclude with an easy one. Because seasons are not capitalized, this headline should have been Buzzards’ return to Hinckley Reservation means spring is near.
Only about 10 weeks to go.
In addition to presenting workshops on writing in the workplace, Norm is a writer, editor, and writing coach. His 100+ Instant Writing Tips is a brief “non-textbook” to help individuals overcome common writing errors and write with more finesse and impact. Learn more at http://www.normfriedman.com/index.shtml.