Write Good Online Content and Reuse It (Without Making It Dizzy)




You can get my latest ebook, Write Good Online Content and Reuse It (Without Making It Dizzy), free for the next five days (May 29 through June 2, 2013). If you’re reading this post after that time is over, it costs only $2.99. My regular readers know that I am a stickler for proper word usage, good grammar and correct spelling. While all good writing requires clarity, reading online is enough different from print that writers must achieve clarity a little differently. Writers of print content seek a publisher, who handles all of the marketing and distribution of its books, … Continue reading






Spelling, punctuation, and other fun topics




People who like to read and write like words and like playing with words, sentences, punctuation, and anything else that comes along with reading and writing. Now that so many of us are BFF forever with our electronic gadgets, we have new tools for communicating—or failing to communicate, as the case may be. Word processing software now comes with spelling and grammar checkers. I expect most writers find them helpful, but they don’t make a very good crutch. For one thing, some of the grammar checkers contain hard-coded grammatical errors. And even if the suggested correction isn’t simply wrong, it … Continue reading






Spelling, grammar, and why they still matter




When I was learning to read and write, I caught on pretty fast, but I can still remember the struggles of some of my classmates. Developing the fine motor skills necessary to form letters neatly is one problem. English spelling is another. We had long lists of words to memorize and be tested on. Drills on spelling, vocabulary, and basic computation skills seem to be disappearing from school curriculums. Perhaps the educational theorists who hobble our teachers’ ability to do their jobs effectively have forgotten how important basic skills are. Or perhaps they are so intent on raising test scores … Continue reading






Going on a “which” hunt: choosing between “that” and “which”




[ad name=”Google Adsense 728×90″] Probably no one considers relative pronouns exciting. Maybe most people hardly consider them at all, but writers are not most people. Good writers must know the rules of good usage. Writers might on occasion have good reason to ignore the rules, but know them they must. So when should a writer use “that,” and when “which?” Although writers have been arguing for more than a century whether it matters, the most careful writers recognize that the rule is fairly simple. Use “that” to introduce a relative clause that defines or clarifies the meaning of the antecedent … Continue reading






Improve your writing by proofreading




Your first draft needs improvement. After all, it’s unreasonably difficult to decide what you want to say and find the clearest way to express it at the same time. Granted, sometimes it doesn’t matter. On the other hand, if you write to publish anywhere, turn it in for a school assignment, circulate it to colleagues at work, or otherwise send it to anyone who has a right to judge it, set aside your first draft for a day or two. Proofread it and revise it at least once. Professional publishers in the print world usually have copy editors to catch … Continue reading