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Office Pets. Part II: Blacky and Felix

This is the second (and last) part of our blog series about office pets. This time, we show off Blacky and Felix, two brothers. They are six years old, curious, and always hungry. more ...

Check if or check that? Or: Have you tried turning if off and on again?

How often do we read or write that we should check something? Example: "Check if the computer is connected to power." Clear message, no misunderstanding. But what if it says: "Check that the computer is connected to power." more ...

Ten questions for Ines Lasch, intern at parson

Ines Lasch just finished her vocational training as a technical writer and is doing an eight-week internship at parson. We asked her ten questions. more ...

Vocational Training for Technical Communicators. How Does it Work?

Anja Schiel, trainee, and Ulrike Parson, CEO of parson AG, offer their insights into the vocational training for technical communicators. more ...

Make Technical Documentation Intelligent - From Content Management to Content Delivery

In this article, Martin Kreutzer and Ulrike Parson describe how you fill content-delivery portals with intelligent information so that users quickly get the right answers to their questions. more ...

Please find enclosed the actual figures

Since I asked for the current figures, I realize that the author of that line made one of the classic mistakes, also known as false friend. 

And no wonder that one sticks. "Actual" sounds like the German word "aktuell", which translates into "current" or "present".  "Actual", however, means "real" or "exact". So we'd better enclose the current figures. Unless, of course, I am asked to send the actual figures, not an estimate. See note below for information on usage. It remains difficult, my friends.

Usage note: actual / current / present
Actual does not mean current or present. It means "real" or "exact", and is often used in contrast with something that is not seen as real or exact: I need the actual figures, not an estimate. Present means "existing or happening now": How long have you been in your present job? Current also means "existing or happening now", but can suggest that the situation is temporary: The factory cannot continue its current level of production. Actually does not mean "at the present time". Use currently, at present or at the moment instead.

*Source: http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/actual

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