“Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day.”
For a group of technical writers, I notice a disturbing trend among my co-workers to write all ready instead of already; with no small difference in meaning between these two, you might expect meticulous attention to these details. But no.
What does “eight net carbs” mean? A co-worker enjoying a pita gleefully informed me that it only contained “eight net carbs,” and since then I’ve wondered: What are “net carbs” and how does one measure them? Invoking the word net also brings up the business definition of net, and that makes you wonder: What are the gross carbs, and what have you subtracted from them to obtain net carbs?
I sent the PDF of a >100-page-long draft report to a sponsor at 1:32 this afternoon. At 1:42 he responded:
[Project Scientist Name], Kathy,
The report is very well done. Results look great as well. [Blah blah]
From the Sponsor’s viewpoint, the report is fine to finalize.
First of all: Call me Kate. Call me Katie. Call me Kathleen. But do NOT Kathy me; I cannot abide Kathy. Second of all: Did he even have time to read this huge document? In any case, this is the second report that he has turned around and asked to finalize in an insanely short time, and this makes lots of work for me.