Like the majority of Generation Xers, I was born in the decade of disco, leisure suits, and questionable mustaches. Does that mean I was born in the 1970s, the ’70s, or the seventies? Today’s post answers that question by analyzing how to write decades as complete numerals and words as well as abbreviated numerals. Should We Write Decades as Numerals or Words? As a general … [Read more...] about How to Write Decades as Words and Numerals
How to Write Centuries as Words and Numerals
Are centuries spelled out or written as numerals? Are centuries hyphenated when used as adjectives? Writers and editors have been asking these questions for at least a hundred years. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!) So, this post is going to explore present-day recommendations for how to write centuries as words and numerals. Are Centuries Spelled Out or Written as … [Read more...] about How to Write Centuries as Words and Numerals
Five Tips for Writing Online Instructions
Today, we’re going to cover five tips for writing online instructions. These tips also apply to online tutorials and other how-to material. Important Note: The following tips are for general, unregulated instructions. If you are writing, editing, or publishing instructions for regulated products, services, or activities, contact your legal advisor to ensure that your … [Read more...] about Five Tips for Writing Online Instructions
Is It E-Mail or Email? Seven Technology Spelling Questions Answered
Today’s post answers seven technology-related spelling questions: 1. Is it e-mail or email? 2. Is Internet capitalized? 3. Is it Web site, web site, or website? 4. Is it Web page, web page, or webpage? 5. Is Web capitalized when abbreviating the World Wide Web? 6. Is it tweet or Tweet? 7. Is it e-book or ebook? We’ll find the answers by examining four popular style … [Read more...] about Is It E-Mail or Email? Seven Technology Spelling Questions Answered
Ten Helpful Writing Websites and Blogs
I previously published a post called "Five Helpful Writing and Editing Websites and Blogs." A five-item list is a measly attempt for such a large topic, so today’s post expands that original list to ten writing websites and blogs. These resources cover a wide variety of subjects, so I’m confident that you’ll find something here that you can apply to your business or nonfiction … [Read more...] about Ten Helpful Writing Websites and Blogs
Polish Your Headings with Parallel Structure
Headings are usually just a few words each, but they can play a vital role in your document’s success. Their most important function is helping readers navigate your content. (No one benefits when readers are cast adrift!) And when headings are constructed with parallel structure, they also enforce consistency throughout your content and demonstrate attention to good writing … [Read more...] about Polish Your Headings with Parallel Structure
What Is Parallel Structure?
Parallel structure, also called parallel construction and parallelism, is a method of formatting written elements so that they correspond to each other structurally. Parallel structure can be applied to any closely related elements; however, it is most often applied to headings, bulleted lists, numbered lists, lists in sentences, and tightly coupled phrases or … [Read more...] about What Is Parallel Structure?
Seven Preparation Tips for Effective Business Writing
Fiction writers are often encouraged to write with reckless abandon—just write, write, write . . . drink a lot of coffee . . . and then write some more. I’m sure many fantastic novels, poems, and screenplays have emerged from this overly caffeinated do-it-now technique. But as business writers, we are more successful when we take the time to prepare before doing any actual … [Read more...] about Seven Preparation Tips for Effective Business Writing
Should You Capitalize Baby Boomer, Generation Xer, and Millennial?
The baby boomers are retiring! The millennials rule the world! The Generation Xers are ignored and neglected! Have you noticed all the headlines about the different generations lately? (Okay, maybe not about Generation X.) Despite all this media attention, we don’t have consistent guidelines for when to capitalize baby boomer, Generation Xer, and millennial. Here are two … [Read more...] about Should You Capitalize Baby Boomer, Generation Xer, and Millennial?
How to Use Ellipses, Part 5: Ellipses in Dialogue
At long last, this five-part ellipses series is coming to a close with a discussion on how to use ellipsis points to create pauses and disruptions in dialogue. Use Ellipses to Indicate a Pause in the Middle of a Line of Dialogue General Rule: Ellipses in the middle of a line of dialogue indicate that the speaker stopped talking momentarily.1 “Do you know of any good places … [Read more...] about How to Use Ellipses, Part 5: Ellipses in Dialogue