Why you need to know the difference between writing errors & writing mistakes

Most old-fashioned editors (hereafter known as OFEs**) and all my happy clients know that when it comes to “sticking to the rules” of writing I am an anarchist.

mistakes in writing

The fact that information crosses approximately 3,400 miles of Atlantic Ocean in less time than it takes you to sneeze does rather make a mockery of trying to preserve the good olde days of British English. British, American, Australian? They’re all OK.

Please note, however, that I’m not particularly anarchic in any other ways. I never burned my bra for Women’s Lib (although I was too young to need one then) and I didn’t even go to the anti-Trump protests in London in 2018 but only because there was no-one available to let my dogs out for wee-wees.

Grammar, spelling, punctuation: do you control them or do they control you?

This question has been bothering me for a long time over issues like the Oxford comma and whether you use a capital letter after a colon or not. Short answer? Issues like that do not matter worth a pinch of coonsh*t, as my dear old Canadian dad used to say. [Read more…]

Favourite Brexit and Trump jokes written for the long weekend

Amazingly today is yet another public holiday (May 27th 2019) amounting to at least three in the countries that I know of. ( UK: Easter, May Day and this one, plus a few as shown below. All within a few weeks of each other.)

In the UK it’s the “Spring Bank Holiday

This sort-of combines with the Christian event of Whitsun and also heralds the beginning of England’s school “half-term” holiday that includes yet another statutory Monday off, which is why schools use it in order to accept children missing four days of school when it might have been five…shame, kids. (This p*sses teachers off, too.) The actual date of the religious event of Whitsun / Pentecost is on June 9th this year but hey, never mind.

Image of Theresa May

“Brexit is (like) having a wee in the middle of the room at a house party because nobody is talking to you, and then complaining about the smell.” – Matt Abbott

“Memorial Day” in the USA This is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering and honoring people who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Hats off to all you guys and gals but I’m not sure I’d want to remember your ultimate sacrifice with a BBQ. Whatever.

“Victoria Day” in Canada
We Canadians are probably the last of the British Commonwealth “Mohicans” to celebrate the birth of Britain’s Queen Victoria. Yes, we are a little slow in updating ourselves but we are working on it. Happy birthday, our Vic.

Never mind: let’s have a few laughs…Brexit first:

[Read more…]

New LinkedIn emojis: how do you like them?

As all you Linked-Inners out there will know, this noble platform has hopped yet one more step closer to Facebook with a new range of emojis to replace the simple like option. Everyone should have them by May 6th, I’m told. Here they are…

LinkedIn new emojis

An interesting selection, no? Hello? Wakey-wakey?

To think that dozens or more LinkedIn staffers will have been agonising over this selection for months! Well done folks!

Just a few questions from a picky writer

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Punctuation: praise it or punch it on the nose?

Are you a slave to proper punctuation? Or is punctuation a slave to you?

Being a pro writer and author and all that, I have given dozens (literally) of traditional editors self-induced alopaecia after reading my book manuscripts. Why? Because I don’t stick to punctuation rules.

Article on punctuation

Punctuation rules: should they be relaxed? Now there’s a puzzle

Being a North American, too, I use punctuation that spans the Atlantic giving the grammar police on both shores the desire to stab me with a red pencil.

And you know what? I don’t care.

Don’t forget that I am a former copywriter, and copywriters are notorious for flipping the bird at conventional grammar, punctuation and even syntax sometimes in order to create an effect.

Ridiculously bad punctuation: not what we’re talking about

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Three million reads about writing: check out the most popular here

Just checking out my stats and found that HTWB has now had more than three million page views.

I’m “gob-smacked,” as we say in the UK: surprised, thrilled, delighted and humbled all at the same time. What a wonderful testimony to those of us willing to share our expertise for no financial gain.

3 million page vieww for HTWB

Celebrate with us: more than 3 million page views of HTWB

And what a wonderful testimony to the many writing and allied contributors who have made this humble site what it is. You all know how you are: too many to name individually but covering all aspects of writing that I can’t, from writing fiction to business plans to terms and conditions to bids and tenders to music to poetry and much, much, more.

No ads, no covert links in articles, no need to sign up, so no spam

(But you can buy some books from the Bookshop or right side bar if you like!)

Here are some of the most popular articles and tutorials you can choose from: [Read more…]

Why writing capital Letters for the Wrong words makes them (and you) look Stupid

Are you one of the increasing number of people who think that all you need to make a word more important is to give it a capital letter?

Misuse-of-capital-letters

Very nice – but don’t overuse!

As my business partner (an ex-Oxford University publisher/editor/author) would say, “why capitalise your status as a Bricklayer? Does that really make it seem more important than bricklayer?”

Capital letters: after apostrophes, the most commonly abused characters in writing

[Read more…]

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