19 I I.D. Capped with periods, no spaces between the letters i.e. See e.g., i.e. impact (verb) Avoid using this word to mean affect. • How will your decision affect her? • NOT How will your decision impact her? imply, infer According to MW, infer means “to derive as a conclusion from facts or premises,” whereas imply means “to involve or indicate by inference, association, or necessary consequence rather than by direct statement.” • I infer from his silence that he does not approve. • His silence implied his disapproval of the situation. importantly The ly sounds as if the subject is performing, in a self-important way, whatever action is modified by importantly. Avoid by rephrasing. • More important, we offer free tuition. • OR What’s more, we offer free tuition. • NOT More importantly, we offer free tuition. See also first, firstly and hopefully. Inc. According to the Chicago Manual of Style, in straight text, the abbreviation Inc. usually can be dropped from a company name. In other cases, use a comma between the company name and Inc. J. C. Penney, Inc., announced that its stock is splitting. Indians See nationality and race. individual Whenever you can, avoid using this word (which works fine as an adjective) as a singular noun. In noun form, it can sound pretentious; use person instead. • She is an accomplished person. • NOT She is an accomplished individual. If you’re talking about more than one person, use people. Individuals as a plural is okay, and sometimes is preferred to people. Persons is not a preferred plural for person and should not be used. initials When a person uses initials instead of a first name, the space between the initials should be the same as that between the initials and last name: H. L. Mencken. Entire names represented by initials, like FDR or JFK, don’t take periods. in spite of Despite means the same thing and is shorter. insure See assure. in terms of A piece of padding best omitted. Rephrase. • The salary made the job unattractive. • NOT The job was unattractive in terms of salary. Internet Internet is always capped. For Internet service provider, only cap Internet. However, when using the abbreviation ISP, all three letters are capped. It is . . . Generally, a weak beginning for a sentence. Recast. • I am proud to welcome the graduating class. • NOT It is with pride that I welcome the graduating class. its, it’s Possessive pronouns (its, ours, his, hers, theirs, yours) don’t take apostrophes. Its means “belonging to it”; it’s is a contraction for “it is.” See apostrophe in the Guide to Punctuation and Usage on page 41.