Doesn’t wordy writing drive you crazy? It’s easy to spot a wordy sentence or paragraph when you’re the reader, but sometimes it’s hard to be succinct when you’re the writer.
During the summer before my junior year of college, I interned for my local branch of the National Writing Project. I had the wonderful opportunity of working with different kinds of writers—poets, short story writers, non-fiction writers. Every day, I’d listen as people read aloud part of a piece they’d been working on. I quickly discovered that incredible writing is wicked tight writing.
When writing is tight, every word is significant. There’s no wordiness or redundancy. It sounds great, but all of us writers know that it takes a lot of messy editing to get those clean sentences. So here’s some help in eliminating unnecessary words: a list of phrases that you can put on the chopping block, and what you can replace them with.
Have you ever during the editing process come across a tricky grammar situation? While searching for an answer, you discover that different sources say different things. You’re not sure which source is correct; you can’t trust your intuition because when it comes to grammar, intuition is sometimes wrong; and unless you have a copyeditor at your office, you probably can’t poll your coworkers. Add to this confusion all of those grammar rules you learned way back when and the less-than-stellar grammatical practices of our society, and it’s easy to see why people don’t like grammar.
“There are only three ways to motivate people: money, fear, and hunger.” – Ron Swanson
Isn’t it a buzzkill when you publish an awesome blog post, but someone brings it to your attention that you made a silly mistake, like using “affect” instead of “effect”? Or maybe you wrote “lose” when you really meant “loose,” or you confused “whose” with “who’s.”
Despite the Panda update and a general consumer shift toward trusted sources, many online publishers are still finding that quantity is more profitable than quality. Any marketer that wants to win the long game knows that you can’t retain customers or persist in the search engines without quality, so we find ourselves in a catch-22.
A few days ago I read a sentence that went something like this, “Some television shows use social media to peak viewers’ curiosity.”
Oh no. This writer fell into the homophone trap.
Just when you thought social media couldn’t invade our everyday lives any more, Facebook raised the bar a notch higher. To no one’s surprise, Facebook announced on Thursday the launch of Facebook Home, a new home screen experience for Android device users which unanimously topped our marketing stories during the week of April 1.
Singers and songwriters never need to worry about grammar. In fact, they actually benefit from flouting grammar rules. It simply wouldn’t be the same if the Rolling Stones sang “Whom Do You Love” or “I Can Get No Satisfaction,” right? Songs don’t typically contain correct grammar, but that’s O.K. because they don’t need to. The only thing that matters when it comes to music is whether or not it has the ability to make us do this:
If you’ve gone through life believing the passive voice should be put in a box and placed in the corner of an uncomfortably moist basement, I have some shocking news.
The passive voice is not wrong.
Earlier this week I realized that I’ve been writing about marketing for almost a year. As a writer, I knew of only one way to celebrate this occasion.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “subject-verb agreement.” People often refer to it when they’re talking about common grammar mistakes. In some cases, subject-verb agreement is really easy to understand, but in others, it’s pretty confusing.
Subject-verb agreement refers to the rule that subjects and verbs must agree in number. Singular subjects take singular verbs, and plural subjects take plural verbs.