Starting a Sentence with “And”

When that fourth-grade teacher told you not to start a sentence with and, s/he was referring to the fact that you stuck and in between every sentence. S/he clearly did not know you would grow up and be a court reporter and have to deal with witnesses who string many sentences together with and. When faced with the “narrative answer,” …

Ugly but Correct

Q     What is the VIN? A     J, as in “John”; -H, as in “Harry”; -4-D, as in “David”; -B, as in “boy”; -7-6-6-2-T, as in “Tom”; I believe it’s an -S, as in “Sam”; -0-0-3-4-9-0. Semicolons because of all the internal commas. Happy punctuating! Margie

“A While” Is Always Okay!

There is no need to be a quandary over awhile versus a while. It can always be two words. It has to be two words after a preposition and in “a while ago” and “a while back.” …there for a while… …called in a while… …saw him a while ago… …remember it from a while back… English has something called …

Okay. A Comma?

Okay is one of those words that peppers the speech patterns of many people. Here is the scoop on okay. If it comes at the beginning of a sentence, follow it with a period. It stands by itself and is not attached to anything around it. …Okay. Did you see them…? …Okay. Fine. Are you saying that…? …Okay. We were …

Thoughts on the Word “O’clock”

We have differing opinions about the word o’clock and the :00. Some of us were taught that o’clock should be transcribed as “:00” by those wonderful, hard-working teachers of our youth [always have to put in a plug for teachers]. Others of us go by the verbatim mantra: If a word was said, I transcribe it. The problem is compounded by …

Everyone/Every One — Which to Choose?

The “one” words: No one is always two words. Everyone, anyone, someone are one word when they refer to a random person. (They are called “indefinite pronouns.”) …I need someone to help me. …They aren’t allowing anyone to enter the blockaded area. …Everyone was included in the invitation. These words are separate words when they refer to anything other than …

What About Philly? Was It Terrific?

Oh, yes, it was. The many hugs were the best part. Great to see old friends; great to meet new people. Thanks for your hard work, Doug. Tami, you are going to have a great year! We are behind you. CCR people, I have missed you — fun to see you and get to chat at least a little. Pizza …

Philly, Here We Come!

Leaving in the morning for Philadelphia! If you are going to be there, I hope you will come by Booth 307 and say hi — or catch my workshop on Friday. It will be great fun to see/meet you all. Don’t forget that I am doing two seminars here in Los Angeles: August 18 and August 25, 6700 West 83rd …

“Handicap Parking” and Other Errors

Drove about 12 miles today to my stepdaughter’s house for a family get-together. “Handicap Parking” at a church: Nope. It is handicapped parking. “Oversize Load” on the back of a truck: Nope. It is oversized load. These are both participles. Participles end in “-ed” or “-ing” for these regular verbs. “Less Than Ten Items” at the market: Nope. Less is …