WordPress is a wonderful and terrifying system, keeping all my draft post titles on the dashboard along with a count (which started at over 50 when we may the changeover but is now down to 3–I’m being much tidier these days, with WordPress keeping score). I meant to post this list of language resolutions at the New Year, but was sidetracked by events. I hope they’ll be helpful, and I post this hopefully.
1. Learn the difference between it’s and its. It’s is a contraction of it is, while its is a possessive. (That pesky apostrophe confuses native English speakers, and I feel great sympathy for people like my taxi driver in Hong Kong, who complained about the inconsistencies and lack of logic in English.)
2. Type e-mail or letter closings in sentence case, with only the first word capitalized. Don’t think of them as Book Titles. The correct form is “Best regards,” not “Best Regards.” I have a feeling I’m sticking my finger in the dyke with this one because I see it in e-mails from England as well as the United States, and I puzzle over where it came from. Does the capitalized version seem more formal, or more final?
3. Don’t “gift” anything. Gifts are given.
4. Be hopeful, but don’t say or write, “Hopefully she’ll go,” when you mean, “I hope she will go.” If she goes hopefully, she is hopeful–with new prospects in view. That’s great, but not the same thing is your wanting her to try the new gym.
Most sincerely yours, Karen.
P.S. Have I given away the fact that I was an English major?