Most Common Writing Errors

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Here is a growing list of the most common writing errors:

  • mismatch between a pronoun and its antecedent:
  • Incorrect: Someone parked a car in the "no-parking zone" simply because they were too lazy to walk from a legitimate parking space.
  • Correct: Someone parked a car in the "no-parking zone" simply because he was too lazy to walk from a legitimate parking space. If female: Someone parked a car in the "no-parking zone" simply because she was too lazy to walk from a legitimate parking space.
  • ending a sentence with a preposition:
  • Incorrect: Whom are you going to the football game with?
  • Correct: With whom are you going to the football game?
  • misplaced modifier:
  • Incorrect: Completely lacking in patriotism, America is undermined by liberals.
  • Correct: Completely lacking in patriotism, liberals undermine America.
  • Also correct: Because liberals are completely lacking in patriotism, they undermine America.
  • lack of conciseness:
  • Incorrect: Christopher Columbus made the discovery of America.
  • Correct: Christopher Columbus discovered America.
  • nonparallelism:
  • Incorrect: Some common liberal traits are selfishness, ignorance, and being racists.
  • Correct: Some common liberal traits are selfishness, ignorance, and racism.
  • unclear comparison:
  • Incorrect:God loves Christians more than non-Christians. (This is not clear whether it means "more than non-Christians do" or the correct meaning, below)
  • Correct: God loves Christians more than He does non-Christians.