Sunday, April 6, 2008

Find the Error: A Game for the Whole Family

Today, I offer real examples from articles on a successful directory. Because they are so painful, I offer points for each example, to keep you interested.

“I can't walk into [one of these stores].without feigning a pulse of love for my ex-boyfriend because of that smell.”

What could the problem be with this sentence? Could it be that the author clearly has no idea what “feigning” means? If you answered yes, give yourself one point.

“They took classes and got their endorsements, and anytime the sun is out, you can see them flying down the roads...”

Hmmm, what is wrong with this example? Did the extraneous comma give you pause? Did you miss that because you were focused on the fact that it's a run-on sentence? If you caught both errors, give yourself two points.

“Nobody forced you into it. So don't create dramas now.”

Does your head hurt yet? Yes, the author has bifurcated a perfectly good (read: acceptable in casual communications) sentence. If you still care, give yourself one point.

“They are learning to play duets now, and their both becoming bilingual.”

Oh, the horror! I won't even tell you what's wrong with this example. Let's just leave it at: contraction. Take one point for catching error number four, if you can still take it.

“They do this y [sic] making phone calls, or looking in the newspaper for FSBO's (For sale by owner), or they may get referrals from other offices.“

Don't worry about the typo. That's small potatoes, compared to the added apostrophe in the acronym and the facts that it and the spelled-out version have been reversed and don't match in number. This came from the introductory paragraph. One point if you caught it, and fifteen if you would have quit reading the article there.

I can't take any more, myself. If you got twenty-five to fifty points, you may have been playing a different game. Ten to twenty-four points earns you the title of Retentive Like Me. If you scored five to nine points, pat yourself on the back and have a piece of toast. If you ended up with less than five points, keep reading this blog.