Write for Business - Blog

UpWrite Press understands the importance of writing skills in business: We're business people just like you. On this blog you'll find tips to improve your writing, along with topics of interest to our staff.

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    Using the Right Word: vain, vane, vein

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Vain (adjective) can mean "valueless" or "fruitless" or "conceited." In vain means "to no avail." Vane (noun) is an instrument that shows which way the wind blows. Vein (noun) refers to a blood vessel or an ore deposit.

    The weather vane twirled about during the spring storm.
    A rich silver vein was discovered beneath the town.
    We searched in vain for the disks.

    (From Write for Business, 2nd edition, page 301, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 51)

    Using the Right Word: uninterested, disinterested

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Both words mean "not interested"; disinterested, however, is also used to mean "unbiased or impartial."

    A judge is never uninterested in the facts of the case but must hand down a disinterested decision.

    (From Write for Business, 2nd edition, page 301, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 51)

    Using the Right Word: toward, towards

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    These words are synonyms, but toward is the preferred form, meaning "in the direction of" or "in relation to."

    Please point me toward the fitness center.

    (From Write for Business, 2nd edition, page 301, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 51)

    Using the Right Word: to, too, two

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    To (preposition) indicates direction; it is also used to form an infinitive. Too (adverb) means "also," "very," or "excessively." Two is the number 2.

    The two friends headed to the cafeteria to eat lunch, which smelled too good to pass up.

    (From Write for Business, 2nd edition, page 301, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 51)

    Using the Right Word: threw, through

    Monday, September 06, 2010

    Threw (verb) is the past tense of "throw." Through (preposition) means "in one side and out the other"; through (adjective) means "extending from one place to another."

    After Marcus threw the ball, he heard it crash through a window.

    (From Write for Business, page 238, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 50)