This tutorial shows how to create an exclusion dictionary in Microsoft Word. An exclusion dictionary is a list of words that will always be marked as incorrect by Word's Editor even if they are spelled correctly. You may want to add frequently confused or “inappropriate” words to your exclusion dictionary. This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the … [Read more...] about How to Create an Exclusion Dictionary in Microsoft Word
As a copy editor, I frequently talk with people about the reference books they use when writing. Oftentimes, the books mentioned are outdated or insufficient. If you’re interested in updating or expanding your reference library, here are three types of books every writer should own: a style guide, a dictionary, and a grammar manual. (Yes, I am being a bit dramatic when I say … [Read more...] about Three Types of Books Every Writer Should Own
The following guidelines explain when to use italics or quotation marks with foreign words to set them apart from the surrounding English text. These guidelines are for general words in business documents, nonfiction, journalism, and academic writing but aren’t for proper nouns, such as people’s names or place names, which typically don’t require special formatting. But … [Read more...] about When to Use Italics or Quotation Marks with Foreign Words
Is Colorado in the west or the West? Did the Allman Brothers Band play southern rock or Southern rock? Am I a midwesterner or a Midwesterner? Today’s post explains when to capitalize geographic regions in the United States. It also looks at when to capitalize those regions when they are used as adjectives and to describe U.S. geographic populations. U.S. Geographic … [Read more...] about When Should You Capitalize Geographic Regions in the United States?
My last post tackled the question of which style guide is best for you. Style guides work hand in hand with dictionaries, so the logical next question is, which dictionary is best for you? Just like style guides, certain dictionaries enjoy wider usage within specific writing categories, so we’ll look at three popular options and conclude with a brief discussion on pocket … [Read more...] about Which Dictionary Is Best for You?
Here are three guidelines that will help you determine when to capitalize historical time periods. Capitalization guidelines for historical time periods are influenced by tradition and whether they are named after a proper noun. As with all things influenced by tradition, these guidelines can change according to where you live—or in this case, which style guide or dictionary … [Read more...] about When Should You Capitalize Historical Time Periods?
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
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
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?
In a past post, we explored the guidelines for using the gendered pronouns he or she with animals rather than the neutral pronoun it. Today, we’re going to look at relative pronouns for animals, specifically who, that, and which. In general, the relative pronoun who applies to people, while that and which apply to objects. So, should you write “The cat who sits on the porch … [Read more...] about Relative Pronouns for Animals: Are Animals “Who” or “That”?