In our monthly Lunch and Learn sessions, the BlackTruck team discusses topics that will help us in our daily work. Today, we addressed some common writing errors and ways to avoid them.

Check out today’s slide deck here:

Common Writing Errors to Watch for Clarity and Credibility from Ashley Bovin

Quick takeaways

Word choice: That vs. Which

“That” identifies, or tells which one. Example: The cell phone that exploded needed to be redesigned.

“Which” describes or adds information about the noun. “Which” is set off by commas, whereas “that” is not. Example: The cell phone, which exploded, needed to be redesigned.

The Oxford comma is highly debated.

Okay, sure…but it just makes more sense to use it!

Example: Gary went to the store to buy hamburgers, buns and ketchup. (Incorrect)  vs. Gary went to the store to buy hamburgers, buns, and ketchup. (Correct)

Use the active voice over the passive voice whenever possible.

It’s more direct and vivid, so it’s more interesting to read.

Example: A party was hosted by Jan and Joe last Friday. (Passive voice) vs. Jan and Joe hosted a party last Friday. (Active voice)

No one’s perfect.

The rules of English exist for a reason, but geez…there are a LOT of rules. It’s most important that we convey our ideas clearly, so let’s all agree to just follow as many rules as we can in our writing. Deal?