Numbers, numbers, everywhere
Ten? 10? 1,000? one thousand? 15%? fifteen percent? 15 percent? 3/4? 75 percent? Confused on the ‘correct’ way to use numbers, decimals, fractions and percentages in your writing? Relax – we have the answers. Numbers are everywhere nowadays; it’s common knowledge that using numbers or percentages in headings will make it more likely that readers will open blog posts/articles/emails, etc. But there are rules concerning just how we actually write those numbers. Basic rules (and when to break them!): Nine or 9? twenty-nine or 29? 10 is the turning point. Generally, numbers below 10 are spelled out while 10 and above are written as numerals: nine weeks; six children; 12 apples; 90 days; three months; 14 dogs T ...
Active is better – or is it?
Many editors, style guides and university professors will ask writers to use active voice for preference, some professors have been known to go as far as forbidding their students to use the passive voice. They can’t all be wrong, can they? The short answer is ‘no’, they’re not wrong – most of the time. As the name suggests, active voice is more energetic and makes your writing more dynamic. Passive voice should mainly be reserved for occasions when: a] the person(s) carrying out the action is/are unknown; The bank has been held up three times this year! (passive) vs Thieves have held up the bank three times this year! (active) b] the recipient of the action is far better known, and has a far higher level of recognition, than the ‘ac ...
It’s February – welcome to the apostrophe!
What does February mean to you? Groundhog Day? The ‘love’ month? Lunar New Year? Spring just around the corner? All of the above? None of the above? Love is always good, of course, unless you’re lonely, single or broken-hearted, in which case the 14th is just a very sad day that you’d love to ignore. As for spring? When Prompt Proofing was based in BC, signs of spring could definitely be seen in February – Victoria even runs a flower count in that month. Here in Ontario, however, it just seems to be another month of snow, and more snow… So what does this have to do with the apostrophe? Absolutely nothing! (Though the sharp eyed might pick up on the (correct) use of the apostrophe in the title.) But, let’s be honest, grammar bl ...