No, mechanics aren’t the people who repair your car. Mechanics are the “nuts and bolts” of writing: capitalization, spelling and punctuation.
What’s wrong with the following Egregious Examples (sources are in parenthesis)? Try to figure out the answers.
Are you suited to be an entrepreneur? Should you give up your “day job?” (ad in business magazine). Hint: question mark in wrong place.
Use the enclosed checks by Jan. 17, 2015 to take advantage of our low interest rate. (credit-card mailing). Hint: comma needed.
Her projects include a British miniseries, Highway Robbery, commercials for Neiman Marcus, Canon and Nike, and still-photo shoots for Vogue, Twist and Rolling Stone magazines. (biography of photographer). Hint: Use semicolons.
J.D. Vivian has lived in Boston, Mass., Quonset Point, R.I., Rota, Spain, Albany, Ga., and Key West, Fla. (premeditated errors on the part of J.D.). Hint: Use semicolons.
Fifth grade math teacher Patty McDonald of Covington, Washington uses “zoo-rithmetic,” data gathered at a local zoo to teach math. (ad in magazine). Hint: comma needed.
Are bathrooms done in a theme — such as French Provincial — “tacky?” (letter to interior-design columnist). Hint: question mark in wrong place.
Could you have PMDD? (ad for Sarafem, an anti-PMDD drug). Hint: What the heck is "PMDD"? Spell out everything on first reference.
From left are Robert Germain, chief executive officer of the YWCA, Blaise Burchfelter of ABC Development, Nancy Jones of ABC Development, and Paul Alfredo of ABC Development, and Joseph Franklin, YMCA board chairman. (photo caption in newspaper). Hint: Use semicolons.