BEHAVIORS



"Behavior" has always referred to patterns of action, including multiple actions, and did not have a separate plural form until social scientists created it. Unless you are writing in psychology, sociology, anthropology, or a related field, it is better to avoid the use of "behaviors" in your writing.

The same can be used for Peoples also... "People" itself a plural form

ATM machine/ATM... What are you talking about?

"ATM" means "Automated Teller Machine," so if you say "ATM machine" you are really saying "Automated Teller Machine machine."

ASSURE/ENSURE/INSURE

To "assure" a person of something is to make him or her confident of it. According to Associated Press style, to "ensure" that something happensis to make certain that it does, and to "insure" is to issue aninsurance policy. Other authorities, however, consider "ensure" and "insure" interchangeable. To please conservatives, make the distinction.

However, it is worth noting that in older usage these spellings were not clearly distinguished. European "life assurance" companies take the position that all policyholders are mortal and someone will definitely collect, thus assuring heirs of some income.

American companies tend to go with "insurance" for coverage of life as well as of fire, theft, etc.

And / Or

The legal phrase "and/or," indicating that you can either choose between two alternatives or choose both of  them, has proved irresistible inother contexts and is now widely acceptable though it irritates somereaders as jargon. However, you can logically use it only when you are discussing choices which may or may not both be done: "Bring chipsand/or beer." It's very much overused where simple "or" would do, and itwould be wrong to say, "you can get to the campus for this morning'smeeting on a bike and/or in a car." Choosing one eliminates the possibility of the other, so this isn't an and/or situation.