December 20, 2014

Agreement: The basics

wait

Subject verb agreement can be one of the more challenging aspects of writing. While short clauses provide for an easily identifiable subject, longer clauses with extensive phrases can make proper subject verb agreement more of a challenge. The … [Read more...]

It’s not just that I care. I’m right.

screwyoumonkey

Last night my sister-in-law called me to a share her frustration with an editorial in the local paper. The thing is, she wasn't calling to discuss the content of the piece, but rather to confirm that a distracting word choice in the conclusion was, … [Read more...]

Writing: Misplaced Modifiers

The key to avoiding (or removing) wayward modifiers is to attend to the meaning and purpose of EVERY word in a sentence. If you cannot explain what the word or phrase is doing, why use it. It's the nutritional equivalent of eating berries off of an … [Read more...]

Writing: Clarity

Clarity

For writers, words are tools. With every word, phrase, clause and sentence we use, we should be asking, "Is this the right tool for the job? Is the way we have written the sentence the clearest, most concise way to express what we are trying to … [Read more...]

Think Structure BEFORE you write

typewriter

Almost every writer, in one way or another, asks the question, What do I want to say? Unfortunately, too many nonfiction writers do so without giving a second thought to how they are going to say it. Instead, when it comes time to create, they … [Read more...]

Small Things that Matter #2: Redundancy

I am a big fan of Ace of Cakes, the pseudo-reality drama on the Food Network. The folks who make up Charm City Cakes are my kind of creative geniuses. Each episode, the quirky band of decorators is faced with the cake world’s version of a story to … [Read more...]

Small Things That Matter #1: “If” vs. “Whether”

I have decided to begin a new series of posts entirely dedicated to the little BUT IMPORTANT elements of English writing that seemed to have disappeared from the K-12 system I am starting with “if” and “whether” not because I think it is the most … [Read more...]