as

Unless the writer uses “as” carefully, this tiny word can create some very strange images. Here’s a typical example:

“As a young girl, my father paid me $1 for every A and 50 cents for every B on my report card.”

Do you see the problem? The sentence above says that when the writer’s father was a young girl, he paid her $1 for every A and 50 cents for every B on her report card.

Of course, the writer intended to say that when she was a young girl, her father paid her $1 for every A and 50 cents for every B on her report card.

Here is another example of the misuse of “as:”

“As a young boy, we did not have any ethnic restaurants nearby. Now, there are hundreds!”

In this case, the literal message is that when we were a young boy, we didn’t have any ethnic restaurants nearby.

To make the intended meaning clear, the speaker/writer could put it this way:

“When I was a young boy, there were no ethnic restaurants nearby. Now, there are hundreds!”

For more free writing tips and guidelines, free articles, and a free introductory consultation, visit Treasurefield Communications.

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About 123clear

I translate foggy information into plain English.
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