More Usage Mistakes Writers Make
24. Stationary, Stationery — Stationary means still or motionless. Stationery refers to writing paper and envelopes.
25. That, Which — That is used in restrictive clauses that provide necessary information. Which is used in unrestrictive clauses, which, as a matter of enlightenment rather than necessity, add information that is not required in a sentence.
26. Their, There, They're — Their means belonging to more than one other person. There means in that location, and the contraction they're means those people are going to do something.
27. Unique means to be one of a kind, without like or equal. Something cannot be more or less unique than something else. It's redundant to say something is totally unique.
28. Whether (or not) — Whether means "if" and always implies the phrase "or not," so there's usually no reason to use those last two words.
29. Who, Whom — Whom is used when it is the object of a preposition or verb, e.g., "To whom it may concern," ("whom" is the object of the preposition 'to"). Who is used everywhere else.
Willis believes in expressive writing, exceptional fundraising, and exuberant living.
Willis Turner is the senior copywriter at Huntsinger & Jeffer. He was an experienced writer and creative director in the traditional advertising world for more than 20 years before making the switch to fundraising nearly 15 years ago. In his work with nonprofit organizations and associations, he has written thousands of appeals, renewals and acquisition communications for every medium. He creates direct-response campaigns, as well as collateral materials and communications, that get attention, tell emotional stories, and persuade people to take action or make a donation.