Category: Effective Writing

Sweating the Small Stuff

Posted on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, at 11:00 pm

At a football game a few years ago, Notre Dame University sold soda in cups that said, "Figthing Irish." Did no one at this distinguished school have the time or pride to proofread a two-word slogan? Here are a few other items we've seen and now wish we hadn't … Back to Basics  Many professional …

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Similes and Metaphors

Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Simile A form of expression using like or as, in which one thing is compared to another which it only resembles in one or a small number of ways. Examples: Her hair was like silk. She sings like an angel. He runs like a gazelle. This meat is as dry as a bone. Metaphor A …

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To Split or Not To Split

Posted on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Not everyone knows what an infinitive is, but everyone uses them. Infinitives are formed when a verb is preceded by the word to, as in to run or to ask. Hamlet's "To be or not to be" speech might be the most famous use of infinitives in English literature. One of the great misconceptions about …

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Leonard’s Ten Commandments

Posted on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at 11:00 pm

The writer Elmore Leonard, who died in 2013 at the age of 87, was the master of hard-bitten prose. He started out as a pulp novelist, and went on to transcend the genre. Since the mid-1950s, more than forty of his works have been adapted for movies and TV, many of them featuring such A-listers …

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Writing with Nimble Variation

Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Writing is much like anything else involving enjoyment: too much of one thing can eventually spoil the fun. Just as they might tire from eating the same cereal every morning, readers can soon grow weary from an over-repetition of compositional forms. Consider the following sentence:      Winthrop grew up in poverty. He could not …

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