Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Writing Tip of the Day: Common Errors Part II

I know it has been a while, but we are back with some more basic advice about common writing errors. We recently hired some wonderful folks here at Empirical and are marketing the magazine a little more. To that end, we would appreciate it if you were to follow us on all of our social media platforms. 

So ends the marketing push (after all, we need to observe the 80/20 rule).

Here be some more commonly misused words:

  1. Data/datum
    • The difference is that one is plural and one is singular
      • The data in my thesis was quite robust and supported my hypotheses. 
      • A single piece of datum made the analysis of my research difficult
  2. Elicit/illicit
    • One is a verb and the other is an adjective
      • During counseling sessions, psychologists ask open-ended questions to elicit an emotional memory. 
      • Cheating on an exam or plagiarizing someone else's work is considered an illicit activity by the university. 
  3. Lay/lie
    • Both can be used as verbs, but only one can be used as a noun
      • I lay my keys down on the table when I get home from the office. 
      • I lie on my couch when I watch football on Sundays. 
      • I told a terrible lie when I said this class does not count toward your GPA. 
  4. Personal/personnel
    • Adjective use versus noun use
      • I try to not talk about my personal life in professional situations. 
      • I do not have the personnel necessary to complete my research project in a timely manner. 
  5. Precede/proceed
    • Both can be used as a verb, but only one of them can be used as a noun
      • I precede my friend on the roster because his last name is Patrick. 
      • I proceed through the checkpoint after a short chat with the TSA agents.
      • All of the proceeds from the event went to charity. 

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