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  • Poor writing can make others think you aren’t intelligent.
  • Don’t get caught up in miscommunication. Master these simple tips.

As the executive editor of Avenue Magazine, a luxury lifestyle publication based in New York City, I see the importance of proper grammar every day. But you don’t have to work in publishing to realize the necessity of good writing. Misplaced commas, an incorrect spelling, or a missing hyphen can change the meaning of a sentence.

Language rules exist for clarity. A classic example is the sentence “Let’s eat mom,” which reads much differently from “Let’s eat, mom.” In the first, the writer is having her mom for dinner. In the second, she is urging her mom to eat with her.

Don’t get caught up in an email chain of miscommunication. Read on for seven tips on how to improve your English expertise.

1. Read frequently

Writing well can become second nature to those who also read well. Pay attention to how authors structure their sentences and how they use commas and sentence length to adjust tone and cadence. Reading can help to increase vocabulary. If you don’t know where to begin, ask colleagues for reading suggestions specific to your field, or browse best-selling booklist

To write well, you must also understand the basics of the English language — how sentences are composed, the different parts of speech, subject/verb agreement, tense, and punctuation. Pick up a copy of Stephen King’s “On Writing” for a fresh take on writing rules.

2. Memorize homophones

There’s no way around it — many rules in the English language require memorization. Among the most frequently committed grammatical errors are misused homophones, which are words that sound the same but have different meanings.

“You’re/your,” “there/their/they’re,” “its/it’s,” and “then/than” are all commonly confused. An easy tool to help with contractions is to remember that they are derived from two words. “You’re” is “you are”; “they’re” is “they are”; and “it’s” is “it is.” “Then” is used to indicate time, whereas “than” is used as a comparison.

3. Learn first- person singular pronouns

Sentences often call for choosing the correct first -person singular pronoun — either “I” or “me.” Remember that “I” is a subject pronoun, whereas “me” is an object pronoun. A helpful way to determine word choice is to remove any other subjects.

For example, consider the sentence “My roommate and I/me went to the store.” If you think about the sentence as “I went to the store” or “Me went to the store,” it’s more obvious that “I” is correct.”I” is the subject of the verb “to be.”

4. Learn how to use commas

As a very broad rule of thumb, commas are used to indicate pauses in a sentence. They should not be used in place of a period. For example, “We went to the baseball field, it was fun” is incorrect.

But “We went to the baseball field, and it was fun” is correct, as commas can be used to separate two independent clauses when joined by coordinating conjunctions like “and,” “or,” or “but.” Commas are also used to separate three or more phrases in a series, after an introductory clause or phrase, and to set off nonessential clauses or phrases.

5. Beward the dangling modifier

A dangling modifier is a word or phrase that doesn’t have a clear subject. “After reviewing your notes, the conclusion remains elusive” contains a dangling modifier. Who is reviewing the notes? The sentence should be rewritten to say, “After reviewing your notes, I am unable to come to a conclusion.”

6. Stay active

All sentences are identified as being either active or passive. In an active sentence, the subject performs the action. “The girl ate the salad” is an active sentence.

In a passive sentence, the subject of the sentence is also the subject of the action. “The salad was eaten by the girl” is a passive sentence. Though both are grammatically correct, passive sentence structures often lead to more errors, including dangling modifiers, misplaced commas, and run- on sentences. Sticking to the active voice will help ensure clarity.

7. Proofread and read your piece out loud

A common cause of poor writing is time, as writers often power through emails and memos, giving a document a cursory glance before sending it to colleagues or clients. Step away from your piece before you submit it, and give it a thorough proofread.

Reading your writing in a new form — for example, on paper instead of on a screen; in a different font; or out loud — can be helpful in finding typos or grammatical errors.

Speaking aloud will also help you to catch redundancies.

Master these 7 grammar tips if you want to sound smarter opacity

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Education

FG/ASUU Agreement : Union wants Nigerians to caution FG over non-implementation

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FG/ASUU Agreement : Union wants Nigerians to caution FG over non-implementation ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on well-meaning Nigerians to caution the Federal Government to honour its agreement with the union to forestall further industrial crisis in the nation’s tertiary education sector.

The union’s President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.

Recall that the union’s National Executive Committee (NEC) had at the end of its meeting at the Federal University of Technical Akure (FUTA) in Ondo, on Nov. 4, 2018, declared a ‘total, comprehensive and indefinite’ nationwide strike.

The strike, was however suspended on Feb. 7, after series of negotiations between the parties and other concerned stakeholders.

But Ogunyemi told NAN on Sunday that “Government has not kept faith with our MOA signed on February 7.

“What government ought to have done, they do not want to do any more. They have literally gone to sleep.

“For instance they had promised before the suspension of the strike, to set up visitation panel to our universities within two weeks and three months after government has not done anything in that regard.

“At least not to my knowledge that they had put any panel in place nor inaugurate any.

“By February 28 of this year, government had promised to pay the union, N25 billion part payment of outstanding arrears of the EARN academic allowances.

“Our renegotiation with Dr Wale Babalakin had promised to put us in a more cordial path with fair guidelines when we cone back to the renegotiation table but now, there seem to be no change of attitude on the side of government.”

According to him, the union has a timeframe attached to every action, hence the current call for caution on the part of government.

He explained that government had told the union that the funds had been approved, but Ogunyemi said that there was a huge difference between approval of such funds and its implementation.

He said that three months after the said approval, the funds were yet to get to the union.

“Our members have begun to express doubts about government’s promise to fulfill its pledge faithfully.

“And when this pressure begins to mount there is nothing the leadership can do because leadership must hearken to the voice of followers.

“The point is that we are not keen about disrupting the academic calendar. What we are doing is to express our worries and carry the public along.

“So, Nigerians must come out now and speak to government concerning all these things raised to maintain the current precarious industrial stability on our campuses ” he said.

He said that though the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu had assured the union that the payment would soon be done, but he expressed concern that time was of essence his members nationwide. (NAN)

 

Source: thenationalonlineng

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Education

ASUU strike: Lecturers issue fresh threat to Buhari govt

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asuu strike: lecturers issue fresh threat to buhari govt ASUU strike: Lecturers issue fresh threat to Buhari govt ASUU logo

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has threatened to embark on a fresh industrial action if the Federal Government fails to show commitment towards implementing the 2019 Memorandum of Action.

ASUU National President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi issued the threat during a briefing with the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu while giving an update on the ongoing renegotiation with the government over the contending N25 billion on Wednesday.

Ogunyemi said, “Since information on the amounts mentioned in the media went round, the ASUU has been inundated with enquiries on the union’s perspective to the story.

“Funding for the revitalisation of public universities has for years been of very high priority to ASUU.

“Reaching an agreement with the Federal Government has often been a frustrating journey for our union. It is often marked with protests, strikes and requires a conscious and focused engagement. The 2001 agreement, which gave birth to the 2009 agreement, was not an exemption. The exception here is the personality leading the government negotiation team.

“The current leadership of the government team clearly lacks the academic disposition and humility needed to undertake such task.

“Our members enjoy their work and hate to see any disruption in the smooth running of our universities. However, the level of frustration occasioned by the lackadaisical attitude of the government towards meeting the terms of the 2019 Memorandum of Action that was freely signed with our union is increasingly becoming unbearable.

“We, therefore, call on all Nigerian patriots, parents and students including the Nigeria Labour Congress to prevail on the government to keep to the terms of our agreement. Otherwise, our union should not be held responsible for any disruption in the system.”

 

Source: Daily Post

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