Cockleburs!

It’s nearly impossible for me to walk through the woods this time of year without finding a few cockleburs clinging to my socks. And it’s almost as difficult to produce a first draft without them. Can you pick out the nettlesome sentences in the ten sets below?

1.
a) Our Happy Holidays Sale begins Wednesday, November 20th.
b) Our Happy Holidays Sale begins Wednesday, November 20.

2.
a) We convened our first marketing conference on March 7, 2010, in Las Vegas.
b) We convened our first marketing conference on March 7, 2010 in Las Vegas.

3.
a) We are pleased to announce a $3-million gift to The Human Fund.
b) We are pleased to announce a $3 million gift to The Human Fund.

4.
a) Seventy-five to 80 percent of all fund transfers take place online
b) 75 to 80 percent of all fund transfers take place online.
c) Seventy-five to eighty percent of all fund transfers take place online.

5.
a) There are at least a half-dozen good reasons to link your social media profiles.
b) There are at least a half-a-dozen good reasons to link your social media profiles.

6.
a) Our group led the company in sales from 2009 to 2012.
b) Our group led the company in sales from 2009-2012.
c) Our group led the company in sales during the years 2009-2012.

7.
a) Dave worked tirelessly to affect a favorable outcome for the launch.
b) Dave worked tirelessly to effect a favorable outcome for the launch.

8.
a) I will send the draft before 6 p.m. today, or, if you prefer, before noon tomorrow.
b) I will send the draft before 6 p.m. today, or if you prefer, before noon tomorrow.
c) I will send the draft before 6 p.m. today or, if you prefer, before noon tomorrow.

9.
a) Do they doubt that you are telling the truth?
b) Do they doubt whether you are telling the truth?
c) I do not doubt whether your intentions are honorable.
d) I do not doubt that your intentions are honorable.
e) I doubt whether anyone will notice the difference.
f) I doubt that anyone will notice the difference.

10.
a) To explain this concept, I have gone to great lengths—much farther than ever before.
b) To explain this concept, I have gone to great lengths—much further than ever before.

Photo of cockleburs by Steve Hurst

Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

 

Check Your Socks!
1. a. 2. b. 3. a. 4. a, b. 5. No cockleburs here—both choices are correct. 6. b. 7. a. 8. a, b. 9. b, c, f. 10. a.

What do you think?