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June 21, 2009


John White

>you’d never write “IBM are going to move into new offices,”

You would write that if you were from the UK.

2. If you're tired of "Summertime and the Livin' is Easy," keep moving through the music catalog:
"Ain't no cure for the Summertime blues"
"We've been having fun all summer long"
"There's danger in the summer moon above"
"switch on summer from a slot machine"
"Summer dreams torn at the seams"
"All that summer we enjoyed it"

Gal Barnea

Why "National Governor's Association"? Is it an association for a single Governor?

My instinct was that the apostrophe was misplaced and that it should be the "National Governors' Association" but a quick visit to their site showed me they prefer not to have an apostrophe at all, which makes your insertion even more egregious.

Dan Santow

John, you're right, of course: I should have made it clear that this rule pertains to U.S. English (as opposed to British English). And I LOVE all your summery suggestions!

Daniel, thank you for your close reading. I've now corrected my "egregious" error. (Ironically -- considering this tip is about referring to single entities properly -- you referred to the National Governors Association correctly as "it" but then incorrectly as "their" and "they"!)

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Why "Word Wise"?

  • When I started to e-mail out a weekly writing tip to my Chicago colleagues at Edelman in 2002, little did I know how quickly how many people outside my office would start to request it. But word spread, as word is wont to do, and in 2006 the e-mail evolved into this blog. The tips, which are about grammar, usage and style, have a dual purpose – to remind my colleagues in PR of the power of the written word and, more generally, to support and perpetuate clear, concise, creative, honest, lively, stylish, compelling writing everywhere. In 2009 I started to add commentary about and links to stories and other blog posts related to the media, marketing, writing and, sometimes, just interesting stuff. For some reason, I also started Twittering (at SantowDan).