Common Writing Mistakes

The following is a list of common writing mistakes made by Chinese authors that I often see in my job as a technical editor for a meteorology journal. I hope this list may be of use to other non-native writers of the English language.

Not using spell-checking software

Need I say moor?

Not using spell checking-software effectively

If your page is full of squiggly red lines marking unknown words that are actually spelled correctly, chances are you’ll ignore the marked words that are in fact spelled incorrectly. So add the correct-but-unknown words to the spell-checker’s dictionary to avoid the mind clutter, and thus make your use of the spell-checker more efficient.

Not checking for words that a spell-checker will miss

  • “clod” when you really mean “cold” or “cloud”
  • “filed” when you really mean “field”
  • “form” when you really mean “from”
  • “spares” when you really mean “sparse”

Using conditionals without a condition

It could can be seen from Fig. 5 that…

Reflexive verbs

Huangshan station locates is located at an altitude of 1833.2 m.

“Locate” can be used passively (“is located”) or reflexively (“locates itself”). The latter is less common.

Using “especially” instead of “in particular”

Additionally, one can find the existence and maintenance of a strong southwest low-level current to the southern part of the Yangtze River during the two processes discussed. Especially In particular, extra attention should be paid to the wind data of Huangshan station.

“Especially” is okay for joining two thoughts together, but only within a single sentence.

Using adverbs instead of adjectives

It is clearly that the Tibetan Plateau is a significant source of dust.

In Japan and Korea, we can confirm the basically source areas of Asian dust.

Referring to place names using their adjective forms

The dust is transported to further areas such as Korean and North American.

Making comparisons with “then”

The value is greater then than 3.0.

Using “but” with “though” or “although”

Though the model-produced annual mean transport is larger, but the maximum monthly mean transport is not.