Contractions are unavoidable. They appear in everything from songs and articles to product packaging. (Even the tiger on my box of breakfast flakes is telling me that “They’re great!”) But are contractions okay in business writing? Maybe. Maybe not. That’s frustrating, I know! Here are three questions to ponder as you decide if you should use contractions in your own … [Read more...] about Are Contractions Okay in Business Writing?
Block Quotations, Part 3: Block Quotation Issues and Concerns
All good things must end—even this exciting block quotation series, which I’m going to close by discussing copyright concerns, reader expectations, and alternative options to block quotations. (What’s that? Block quotations aren’t exciting? How about relatively riveting? Mildly motivating? Slightly stirring?) Here is a brief summary for those who missed the first two parts … [Read more...] about Block Quotations, Part 3: Block Quotation Issues and Concerns
Block Quotations, Part 2: How to Format Block Quotations
My last post, “Block Quotations, Part 1: How to Introduce Block Quotations,” discussed the purpose of block quotations, how long they should be, and how to introduce them in your content. Today’s follow-up explains how to format block quotations by answering the following questions: How much should block quotations be indented? How do you write quotations within block … [Read more...] about Block Quotations, Part 2: How to Format Block Quotations
Block Quotations, Part 1: How to Introduce Block Quotations
Block quotations, also called block quotes, are long quotations that are indented from the surrounding text. In the first part of this three-part series, I’ll explain how to introduce block quotations in your content. But first, let's take a look at the purpose of block quotations and how long they should be. The Purpose of Block Quotations Although block quotations were … [Read more...] about Block Quotations, Part 1: How to Introduce Block Quotations
How to Introduce Run-in Quotations
Whether you are writing an article, a blog post, or a report, quotations can add depth and authenticity to your content. (And, you can quote me on that!) Here is a quick overview on how to introduce run-in quotations, which are short quotations integrated into sentences. Please note that the information below is only intended for quotations within nonfiction works, articles, … [Read more...] about How to Introduce Run-in Quotations
Should You Capitalize the First Word of a Sentence after a Colon?
My previous post, “How to Use Colons,” explains that colons can introduce lists and quotations, conclude salutations, and link titles with subtitles. Colons can also connect tightly coupled sentences, such as those with a cause-and-effect or problem–solution relationship. Today’s post tackles the question of whether you should capitalize the first word of a sentence after a … [Read more...] about Should You Capitalize the First Word of a Sentence after a Colon?
How to Use i.e. and e.g.
The abbreviations i.e. and e.g. can streamline examples and specific information in your sentences. However, they aren’t interchangeable, and their placement within parentheses depends on the type of content you’re writing. So, let's take a quick look at how to use i.e. and e.g. But first, let's explore the difference between them. What Is the Difference between i.e. and … [Read more...] about How to Use i.e. and e.g.
How to Use En Dashes
En dashes, which are shorter than em dashes but longer than hyphens, have two primary uses: (1) create number ranges and intervals and (2) establish equality between compound adjectives. Use En Dashes in Number Ranges and Intervals En dashes can be used in number ranges and time intervals as replacements for the words to and through.1 Apartments 1–15 will be fumigated on … [Read more...] about How to Use En Dashes
How to Use Forward Slashes
The forward slash (/) appears in everything from number fractions and calendar dates to poetry and URLs.* Despite this multifunctional usage, the forward slash is frequently mishandled when used as a shortcut for joining words and creating and–or situations. Here are three guidelines on how to use forward slashes in general writing that will help you avoid your own slash … [Read more...] about How to Use Forward Slashes
When to Capitalize Product Names
Nearly every business wants to promote its products with bold, exciting copywriting. And that’s a good thing! However, that exuberance sometimes leads to inconsistent or unnecessary capitalization of general product nouns. (“Our new Sandwich is the best!”) Here are four tips to help you decide when to capitalize product names in your own copywriting. (Please note that these … [Read more...] about When to Capitalize Product Names