Category Archives: Style

“Be vewwy quiet! I’m hunting intensifiers!”

A modifier is a word or phrase that modifies another word or phrase by adding descriptive, limiting, or qualifying details. Adjectives modify nouns, and adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and everything else. Intensifiers are a special class of modifier that work … Continue reading

Posted in Growing as a writer, Style, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments


Here’s an exercise you can try this week: Make everything you write as simple as possible. Think Shaker furniture. Don’t add words. Cut them. Pare your message to its core. Don’t use big words. Use the simplest words you can. … Continue reading

Posted in Everyday writing, Growing as a writer, Style | Tagged | Leave a comment

Are short sentences better than long sentences?

Writer Cynthia Robertson is railing against “The Cult of the Short Sentence.” [Update 5:29 central time, 27 July 2011: I removed the Robertson quote at her request.] In my experience, long sentences frequently turn up when the writer doesn’t notice … Continue reading

Posted in Style, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Yahoo! It’s a Style Guide!

The Yahoo! Style Guide: Writing and Editing for the Web was published earlier this month. If you write for online publishing, it’s well worth a look. (The website, linked above, is also a good resource to bookmark.) What’s that? “What’s … Continue reading

Posted in Style, Style manual, Toolbox | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Shape of Information

All of the written content we create must have some sort of structure. Whether it’s straightforward data like population or crop production statistics, or more semantically rich information such as a corporate handbook or a biography, selecting an appropriate framework … Continue reading

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