Search Results for: syntax

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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Where next for How To Write Better: on page 1 of Google today!

Really thrilled to see that How To Write Better is back on Page 1 of Google, from a grand total of 2,270,000,000 results (approximately!)

How To Write Better on Google page 1

Sorry for the poor picture quality – best I could do with an IPhone…

Admittedly we’re only at the bottom, but it’s an achievement all the same. Thank you, readers, for supporting the site and helping it to grow

What would you like to see more of on How To Write Better?

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How to write in body language

Have you ever expressed regret about written communications because they don’t allow you to “read” – and use – body language? I have, and many others appear to have done so as well.

Writing in body language

There are ways to compensate for lack of body language when you’re communicating in text.

One of the most obvious places where the lack of body language can cause misinterpretations leading to discussions, arguments and worse, is in social media comments. Just one sentence that’s a bit thoughtless or flippant in the wrong circumstances can make a fire break out and within minutes there are dozens or even hundreds of trolls fanning the flames into the second Great Fire of London.

But that’s not the only problem area. [Read more…]

Vanity publishing is dead. Crappy publishing isn’t.

30 years ago, there were only two ways to get your book published: one, by a trade publisher like Random House or Penguin and two, by a vanity publisher. Books in those days could only be produced in printed form and could only be sold in bookshops or, in the case of a vanity published book, by the author direct.

vanity publishing versus professional self publishing

It’s not hard to tell the difference between a professionally produced book, and a crappy one

Many people today believe that anything other than traditional trade publishing is vanity publishing.

But it’s not. Truthfully.

The internet and digital technology have turned the entire book publishing world upside down and opened up a number of new options not only in how to produce a book, but also in how and where to sell it. [Read more…]

Why print newspapers are not good for alternative facts

Every year when I come “home” to Canada and stay with my uncle and aunt in Toronto, one of my greatest treats is to read a real newspaper.

Alternative facts are harder to write in paper newspapers

Does the ethos of old-fashioned print newspapers make it harder for “alternative facts” to be believed?

Not the digitally erstatz version of The Times or the The Daily Mail or The Washington Post or any other online me-too news resource that doesn’t fool anyone into thinking it shares similarities with the real thing… [Read more…]

Book publishing today: top 10 myths exploded

You probably know that book publishing today is a very different ballgame than the publishing picture of 20 years ago and more. But as you’d expect with a comparatively new and still evolving industry, “fake news” runs rife.

10 most popular myths about book publishing today

Today, there are options for people to read our words on their laptops, on their phones, through earphones while they work out at the gym .. as well from the good old-fashioned printed page. And that’s something that should be celebrated.

Here, then, are some of the myths that are flying around, and what the truth is about them. Enjoy.

1. Self-publishing is the same as vanity publishing

No, it’s not. Vanity publishing was a rather unfairly named con played by scammers not so much taking advantage of wannabee authors’ vanity, as of their hearts and souls. [Read more…]

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