Tag Archives: blogging

How to Create and Punctuate Bullet Points

bullet_pointsBullet points help readers scan what you’ve written, quickly drawing attention to key issues and facts. They can tell readers what needs to be done, provide step-by-step instructions, highlight important elements, or list features.

Bullets can be round, square, triangular, diamond, or even customized or whimsical graphics. When listing steps to take, numbers can serve as bullet points to emphasize the correct sequence.

There are no fixed rules of grammar about how to use bullet points, but here are some guidelines. Continue

Like it? Share it!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Book Titles and More: Underline, Quotation Marks or Italics?

In the typewriter age, titles were set off with quotation marks or underlining:

“Charlotte’s Web”

To Kill a Mockingbird

Underlining seems ancient today. Typographer and design expert Robin Williams puts it this way:

“Never underline. Underlining is for typewriters.”

How, then, should you denote book, magazine, movie and song titles, CDs and works of art, poems and websites? What about book chapters, magazine articles, speeches and statues? Style guides differ, but here are general guidelines. Continue

Like it? Share it!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

One Space or Two? Contemporary Keyboarders Rule!

A recent email from an aspiring author had two spaces at the end of each sentence. Among the suggestions I gave her about publishing was to change the double spaces to single spaces throughout her manuscript. (Microsoft Word makes this easy with the FIND and REPLACE function under the toolbar’s Edit choice.)

Seeing two spaces after a period or other closing punctuation can hint at a writer’s age. If you learned keyboarding on a computer, you most likely learned that one space at the end of a sentence is the rule. If you learned keystrokes on a typewriter, you might be dating yourself by continuing the double-space habit. Continue

Like it? Share it!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Headline Lessons: Contractions, Redundancies, Verb Forms

HeadlinesToday is a holiday in the U.S. — The Fourth of July (Independence Day) — so many of you probably are not in your office or at your computer.

But my email list is not limited to U.S. residents, so I went to my latest collection of headlines to develop a post for those of you who are toiling through this American holiday.

Headlines and the grammar lessons they teach

Continue

Like it? Share it!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

News Flash: Yesssss! You MAY Split Your Infinitives!

Knowing how I follow developments in the grammar universe, a colleague sent me a recent article from The Economist, a British publication with international coverage and subscribers.

Started in Scotland in 1843, The Economist now claims a reputation for “a distinctive blend of news based on fact, and analysis incorporating The Economist’s perspective.”

The change in The Economist’s style guide that warranted my colleague’s attention relates to the use of infinitives. The editors have declared — at long last — that infinitives may indeed be split. Continue

Like it? Share it!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

‘As Long As’ or ‘So Long As’ … What’s the Difference?

man presents giftIs there a grammar rule that applies to as long as and so long as?

Which of these do you consider correct?

“He can join us as long as he brings a gift to exchange.”
“He can join us so long as he brings a gift to exchange.”

When using as long as or so long as to imply something conditional — He can join us if he brings a gift to exchange — both are correct.

But the three-word phrases are not interchangeable in all constructions. Here are five ways to use as long as: Continue

Like it? Share it!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

From Memorialize to Curate, Curator, Curation: What Do They Mean?

Have you noticed how often you’ve heard memorialize lately?

It has emerged primarily in the context of former FBI Director James Comey’s having made a written record of — in other words, memorializing — his conversations with President Donald Trump.

Many words in the English language have more than one meaning — or shades of meaning — depending on context.

Continue

Like it? Share it!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Blogging Brings Unexpected Benefits

I’ll be traveling this week, so I invited fellow Wisconsin native Richard S. Buse to provide a guest post. — Kathy

Blogging: The greatest benefits grew within me

by Richard S. Buse

surprising benefits of bloggingThe opportunity to launch a blog presented itself in 2009 when the International Association of Business Communicators rolled out xChange, a repository of member-written blogs accessed via the association’s website.

I decided to launch an xChange blog focusing on writing or career topics. My introductory post promised a new post every Tuesday morning. For several months afterward, I simply repurposed older related articles I had written in the 1990s. Then I ran out of old material and had to come up with new ideas. That scared me. Continue

Like it? Share it!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail