Friday, February 20, 2009

Today's Quick Tip

A member of my writers' group asked a great question. Sheila is working on a series of articles and wants them to have a certain tone. She asked, "How do I keep it casual and conversational without sounding uneducated?"

My friend will have to walk a fine line here, because she needs to present her material in a way her readers will readily accept, but she doesn't want to offend anyone by writing at a level that belittles them. She'd also like a little humor thrown into the mix.

Sheila can accomplish her goal by following the advice of an old college professor of mine. He said it's ok to break the rules [of grammar] as long as you know the rules you're breaking. When you break a grammar rule intentionally, and consistently break the same rule throughout the piece, it makes sense. The writing, then, is not full of mistakes. Rather, it flows beautifully and is connected, because you know what you're doing.

Sheila will not appear uneducated by mixing it up a bit. On the contrary, if her writing is cohesive, she will be very effective.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Proofreading is a Dying Art

What better way to begin a new blog than with a bit of humor!

I received the following in an email. These headlines left me ROTFL (rolling on the floor laughing). I hope it brings you some stress relief, too.

Proofreading is a dying art, would you say?

Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter
It took the editor 2-3 readings before he realized this is impossible! They ran a correction the next day.

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
No, really? Ya think?

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Now that's taking things a bit far!

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
What a guy!

Miners Refuse to Work after Death
No-good-for-nothing so-and-so's!

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
See if that works any better than a fair trial.

War Dims Hope for Peace
I can see where it might have that effect!

If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
Ya think?!

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Who would have thought!

Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
They may be on to something!

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
You mean there's something stronger than duct tape? Oklahoma's new construction program!

Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge
He probably IS the battery charge!

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
That's what he gets for eating those beans!

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
Do they taste like chicken????

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Chainsaw massacre all over again!

Hospitals are Sue by 7 Foot Doctors
Boy, are they tall!

And the winner is...
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
Did I read that right?

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This sums it up ;)