Yesterday the Wife and I made the 45-minute drive to the nearest Half Price Books. (We're the kind of people who think Chick-fil-A-and-a-bookstore makes the perfect date.) I always check the reference and writing books section, and there I found A Dictionary of Modern English Usage by H. W. Fowler. It was the second edition … Continue reading Fowler’s Modern English Usage, 2d Ed.
The Wife was reading a self-published book riddled with errors the other day, and we started talking about the lack of editing in today's online world. We both feel somewhat offended when a self-published author or a blogger doesn't care enough to even proofread. Especially if you're going to sell your writing, you should either do … Continue reading Editing Is Essential
Writers get jazzed up about punctuation, with good reason. Those dots and squiggles have a lot to do with the character and clarity of writing. And there's no mark that exemplifies the many uses of punctuation better than the em-dash. I was reminded of the em-dash by Jeremiah Shoaf of Typewolf, whose newsletter included a … Continue reading Fear Not the Em-Dash
https://youtu.be/gNRibogFG00 Bryan Garner just shared this video of five writing tips. It's a great start to writing better in your job, whatever it is. I, for one, will try to use we, our, you, and your more. As Garner states, good business writing "is a skill you must cultivate to succeed." William Zinsser made much the same point in On Writing Well: … Continue reading Garner’s Business Writing Basics
Few marks of punctuation are misunderstood and misused like these two. Infinitely useful—both connect ideas without the break of a new sentence—yet vaguely understood, both the semicolon and the em-dash tend to be either ignored or overused. When used well, however, they help the flow of ideas like nothing else. I've used semicolons and em-dashes … Continue reading Semicolon vs. Em-Dash