From a book called Access 2013: The Missing Manual:

However, there may be times when you need to share your data with people who are using truly ancient copies of Access. Versions before Access 2007 use a different database format, called .mdb (which stands for "Microsoft database"). And, as you can see in Figure 1-14, the .mdb format actually comes in two versions: a really, really old version that supports Access 2000, and an improved that Microsoft introduced with Access 2002 and reused for Access 2003.

As you can see, it really should be an improved version or at very least an improved one. So, why do you think the author has left them out? You think that's because he wanted to make that part sound a little bit terser for the purpose of a nicer grammar flow? Would you do the same if you had to write that sentence?

  • 4
    No its a typo. Seems too basic to be a grammar error. Should have "version" or "one" after improved. Improved has to modify something.
    – user3169
    Feb 25, 2015 at 1:10

3 Answers 3


Actually, I think your instructor will not happy if you omit a word on purpose. But in here, this omission undeniably make this sentence terser. I think the author can write a sentence like that because he can ensure that he won't make any mistakes. So, people can easily understand what he expresses. If you make some mistakes in different parts in writing, you may just drive your readers or instructors crazy. So, do not show off your knowledge and do not write down sentence like that despite the fact you know.

  • 2
    I actually think it was a simple mistake. It happens all the time, and sometimes mistakes like this one make it through proofreading. I agree with you, though, that people can probably understand what the author intended to say.
    – user230
    Feb 25, 2015 at 3:10
  • "[...] your instructor will not happy if [...]". Did you deliberately leave out the verb as a demonstration of the principle? No doubt in this example the omission was wrong. It is possible to retain the meaning of a sentence in the face of grammatical error, but we should not encourage it.
    – Floris
    Feb 28, 2015 at 12:50

The author was sloppy and the proof reader did not catch it. It does not improve the sentence - it slows readers down because they will re-read the sentence as they are missing a word.

"Spare the word, spoil the sentence." Yes, I made that one up myself. The original is "spare the rod, spoil the child." Not considered very PC these days!


I used to be an proofreader at Microsoft. I found literally dozens of mistakes per page; some of them author's mistakes that editors hadn't caught, some of them errors introduced by the editor. I was fired after a month, for slowing down production by finding so many errors.

Then I got a gig at another deparment of Microsoft, as an editor. So I had a chance to discuss with the author his errors in nomenclature, consistency, and logic. In most cases my suggestions were overruled.

After that, I decided I would have to become a writer, if I ever wanted to see something written properly. I have now been a Technical Writer for about twelve years.

If I were editing that piece, I would flag the missing "one" as an error.

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