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“Deft, generous, wise and insightful, Roy Jacobsen’s experience-based blog is one of the best bangs for the click that any writer will find on the Internet.”—Arthur Plotnik
“Writing – Clear and Simple proves that it doesn’t take a professional to write clearly and with impact.” —Top 100 Blogs to Improve Your Writing in 2010
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Category Archives: Writing in its natural habitat
Let’s start 2011 with an easy round of Spot the Error, courtesy of today’s sports news: What’s wrong with this article? Answer (posted 8 January 2011): It’s right there in the headline. The word they wanted was eke, not eek. … Continue reading
How did Agatha Christie—author of more than 70 novels, more than 140 short stories, and 22 plays—manage to generate and keep track of all of the ideas that went into her works? How did she develop the characters with their … Continue reading
Writing well is more than just being good with words. You have to weigh factors like what your message is, what are the likely emotions that it will evoke, and who you’re delivering the message to. With those thoughts in … Continue reading
Spotted this one over at Matthew Stibbe’s Bad Language blog: (Click for a larger view.) I thought this ad was clever; by using the red strike-through, the key message—“BlueMotion saves you money”—is emphasized, but readers who want to know more … Continue reading
I encountered another pleonasm—that is, the use of more words than needed to express an idea—the other day while listening to a podcast: “…my personal pet peeve…” A pet peeve is, by definition, personal; there is no other kind of … Continue reading
Can bad writing actually be good for something? How about some laughs? The Feminist Law Professors blog has collected some of the best examples of writing that doesn’t quite say what the author intended: the Annals of Bad Writing.
Yesterday, my wife and I received the following letter from a company that manages some of our investments: Dear Shareholder:The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is responsible for the oversight of financial services companies acting as broker-dealers to ensure investment … Continue reading
I’ve written before about using metaphors to help make abstract concepts easier for readers to grasp. However, you have to be careful not to overload your writing with metaphors, as The Wall Street Journal’s online editorial page illustrates with a … Continue reading
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” —Albert Einstein My middle daughter is on the school swim team, and one of the many handouts we get is a “Student & Parent Handbook.” And every year that … Continue reading