Improving you writing skills

If you make a living writing then it goes without saying that your writing skill needs to be as impeccable as possible.  Not everybody is perfect and there is no harm in being a bit less than perfect but as a writer you should always work towards improving you writing skill no matter what language you use to render the service.  I use English and therefore I found this article on improving you writing at Techrepublic quite engaging.  Although I didn’t learn something new it was a refreshing experience because I see such errors cropping up on various blogs almost on a daily basis. I wish the article had explained a few more things for those who really need some guidance.  For instance the writer says that all the items in a list should be parallel. A bad example of a list would be (taken from the article):

  • Backing up the registry
  • The Registry Editor is your friend
  • Using REG files
  • Use a GUI tool
  • Searching the registry
  • Take advantage of Favorites
  • Clean the registry

This should be rightly written as (you may not agree but this is just my take on it):

  • Backing up the registry
  • Making the registry editor your friend
  • Using REG files
  • Using a GUI tool
  • Searching the registry
  • Taking advantage of Favorites
  • Cleaning the registry

I don’t know the technical explanation but you can notice that every item begins with an “ing” word.  Another example would be (without the “ing” word):

  • Backup the registry
  • Make the registry editor your friend
  • Use REG files
  • Use a GUI tool
  • Search the registry
  • Take advantage of Favorites
  • Clean the registry

Another good explanation in the article is the agreement of verbs. The wrong usage is

  • Neither of the doctors are very smart
  • The dog, as well as the goat and chicken, are easy to parallel park
  • One-third of the company are color blind

I would rewrite the sentences as (somehow I’m not sure of the second sentence, please advise in the comment section)

  • Neither of the doctors is very smart
  • The dog, as well as the board and the chicken, is easy to parallel park
  • One-third of the company is color blind

How do you make sense of the verbs here? I use my commonsense and since I never learned the language  formerly I cannot explain it.  Please do so in the comment section.