Three Mini-Tips

Today we will address three little items I’ve been collecting on my notepad of Tip Topics.

Error #1:
The re-occurring leaks may be due to corrosion.

Although “reoccur” is listed in my Merriam-Webster dictionary along with hundreds of other words that have a re– prefix (not hyphenated) meaning “again,” this is not the right word. The official word for something that occurs again after an interval is “recurring.”

Corrected Example #1:
The recurring leaks may be due to corrosion.

Error #2:
The generator will be sized similar to the other three in the field.

Q: What word or phrase does the word “similar” modify?
A: It modifies “will be sized,” which is a verb.
Similar is an adjective, and adjectives cannot modify verbs. Adverbs can modify verbs.
Q: What is the adverbial form of the adjective “similar”?
A: Similarly

Corrected Example #2:
The generator will be sized similarly to the other three in the field.

Error #3:
Both Well AB-1 and Well AB-2 have not produced any significant water.

There is a better sentence construction we can use to convey the same thought.
Instead of using “both X and Y have not,” we should use “neither X nor Y has.”

Corrected Example #3:
Neither Well AB-1 nor Well AB-2 has produced any significant water.

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Profound Quote of the Day:
“The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy; neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.
– John W. Gardner, former US Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, 1912-2002
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