Category: Effective Writing

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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Writing with Meaningful Restraint

Posted on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at 11:00 pm

The art of writing concerns style and form as much as it does clarity and grammatical accuracy. Technically proper sentences can be operative but uninspiring if not also touched by feeling and flow. Consider the following pair:      He fully opened the window and looked at the sunset. It had been a long day. He was …

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Writing with Rhythm and Sound

Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Good writing involves more than good grammar. A sentence can be correctly written but dull. In addition to technical precision, composition that connects with readers has a sense of rhythm and sound. Think of how much children enjoy rhymes and word play such as Red Rover, Red Rover, let Raymond come over and The itsy …

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Don’t Put It in Writing

Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Today we’ll discuss a word and a phrase, either of which would sound fine in a casual exchange but could attract unwanted attention if used in formal writing. Ahold  Although few people would notice anything amiss in a sentence like I wish I could get ahold of a good grammar book, many editors would change …

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Clearing the Air of Errors in English

Posted on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, at 11:00 pm

The adage is true when it comes to our language: Old habits really are hard to break. Notwithstanding classroom instruction, lifelong reminders, correction from others, and even GrammarBook newsletters, certain misuses of English survive like drug-resistant viruses. Yet we grammarians and linguists march on. After all, even the Roman Empire had to give way—eventually. As …

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