Judy Vorfeld "The written word," says Rich Becker, "is one of the most accurate and flexible means of communication ever conceived and we're living in an era where we can access more of it than ever before in human history." This colorful writer, businessman, and educator just posted an article, "Five Popular Content Writing Tips That Are Dead Wrong." He explains the following items in full in his blog post: 1. Everything is trending toward less words so write less. 2. Adding exciting words to marketing copy will jazz it up. 3. Writing catchy copy takes almost no time at all. 4. Persuasion and believability comes from good writing alone. 5. One medium will rule them all and in the darkness bind them. Take a few moments to hear Becker out. Writing proficiency is vital, and it is diminishing in the U.S. Not good. Rich Becker is an accomplished businessman who has also taught writing, editing, and social media classes at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for more than ten years. Subscribing to his blog is one of the smartest moves I've made in my business.
When do you use an extra apostrophe "s" following a last name ending with the letter "s"? Chicago Manual of Style, 14th Edition, 6.24-30 says: The general rule for the possessive of nouns covers most proper nouns, including most names ending in sibilants (but see exceptions in 6.26-27 and alternatives in 6.30). Kansas's; Burns's poems; Marx's theories; Dickens's novels....For names ending in silent s, z, or x the possessive, unlike the plural, can generally be formed in the usual way without suggesting an incorrect pronunciation: Margaux's bouquet; Descartes's works. Traditional exceptions to the general rule for forming the possessive are the names Jesus and Moses: in Jesus' name; Moses' leadership..."How to form the possessive of polysyllabic personal names ending with the sound of s or z," says CMS, "probably occasions more dissension among writes and editors than any other orthographic matter open to disagreement." Gregg Reference Manual, 7th Edition, Sabin, 631 says: To form the possessive of a singular noun that ends in an "s" sound, be guided by the way you pronounce the word: (a) if a new syllable is formed in the pronunciation of the possessive, add an apostrophe plus "s," e.g., Mr. Morris's eyeglasses; Miss Knox's hairdo; Mrs. Lopez's term paper...(b) If the addition of an extra syllable would make a word ending in an "s" hard to pronounce, add the apostrophe only, e.g., Mrs. Phillips' comment; Mr. Hastings' bike... There will always be controversy on this "style" issue, since some style guides call for only an apostrophe followed by the letter "s." Some are more concerned with the way a word looks in print, others with the way it sounds when spoken.
Did you know that most typists use serif fonts (like Times Roman & Times New Roman) for text? Or that this type of font is designed so the reader's eye moves smoothly from letter to letter? Yep. The little squiggles you see on serifs are part of that ease-of-reading process.
Traditionally, typists use sans serif fonts (without squiggles) more often for headings, accounting, data entry, etc. These less decorative fonts also complement serif fonts when, for example, one is used for body text and the other for headings.
Today's home and office (ink jet & laser) printers usually operate at a minimum of 300dpi (dots per inch). At 300dpi and higher, both serif and sans serif fonts are readable, but on the Internet...
Most screen resolutions are set at 72-100dpi. Web typography experts often suggest that at this low resolution, Web designers offer the best readability by using sans serif fonts such as Arial, Helvetica, and Verdana. This will undoubtedly change in years to come, but slowly. Most users will not replace their current monitors simply because better resolution is available. Designers may be the biggest exception.
TIP: All fonts are not created equal. Verdana, an attractive sans serif font created for the Web, is slightly larger than Arial. If space on a page or in a heading is important, you may want to use Arial.
Incidentally, the text on a user's screen is almost always controlled by the fonts the user has on his/her system (hard drive). That's why most designers give a minimum of two choices when writing the font command. Some users, for various reasons, control the specific font and size their browser uses. Size is another, more difficult issue. You may learn that you can't please all the people all the time!!
Do you often wonder if you're using dashes properly? Dashes have distinct uses that often seem blurred in today's society. Here's what's best for writers and those involved in business writing. Q. When do I use a dash in text? A. A dash usually replaces a comma, semicolon, colon, or parentheses. When used this way, it creates an EMPHATIC separation of words. Since a dash is versatile, people tend to use it to punctuate almost any break in a sentence. Don't. It's best used for EFFECT. And experts say we should never type a single hyphen to represent a "double" dash (em dash). Author Amy Einsohn says, "The dash is best reserved for special effects: to prepare readers for a punchline or a U-turn." The Chicago Manual of Style says, "A dash or a pair of dashes is used to denote a sudden break in thought that causes an abrupt change in sentence structure." Professor Charles Darling suggests thinking of dashes as "super commas." There are four kinds of dashes: em, en, two-em, and three-em. EM DASH Generally, if you see the word "dash," the writer means em dash. Most word processing programs give us access to em dashes (the width of a capital "m"). If you don't have software that has this special character, type two hyphens with no spaces between the words on either side and the dashes, or do one of the following: Keyboard stroke: If you use Windows, hold down the Alt key and type 0151 on the keypad. To make this autocorrect in Word for Windows: Go to Menu bar / Tools / click AutoCorrect. In the "Replace" box, type two hyphens. In the "With" box, press Alt + 0151 to create an em-dash, and then click Add. Close. If you use a Mac and Word, try typing two hyphens. Word should automatically convert them into an em-dash. If not, try this: Go to Menu bar / Tools / click AutoCorrect. In the "Replace" box, type two hyphens. In the "With" box, press OPTION+SHIFT+- (hyphen) to create an em-dash, and then click Add. Close. Regardless of whether you use an "em" dash or two hyphens, don't leave any space before or after the dash. EN DASH Use an "en" dash to connect numbers in a range. It means "up to and including" when used like this: "During the years 1998-1999," and "...people aged 55-63." If you don't have access to an "en" dash, use a hyphen. If you use Windows, hold down the Alt key and type 0150 on the keypad. TWO-EM DASH Used to indicate that letters are missing from a word. If you don't have access to this dash, type four consecutive hyphens with no spaces between. If letters are missing from within a word, leave no space before or after the two-em dash. If the letters are missing at the end of a word, leave no space before it, but leave one space after, unless punctuation is required. Examples: * Mrs. Birming---- chose to remain anonymous. * The diagnosis was made by Dr. Boy----. Note: You can type a two-em dash by using the keystrokes one after the other with no space between them. THREE-EM DASH Used to indicate that an entire word has been left out or needs to be provided. If you don't have the character for the three-em dash, type six consecutive hyphens. You can type a three-em dash by using the keystrokes three times with no space between them. Because this dash represents a complete word, leave a space before and after unless punctuation is needed. Three em-dashes are generally also used in bibliographies to represent an author's name in subsequent entries, once the author's full name has been given. NOTE: These rules aren't written on stone. Many documents you'll type do not require using the various dashes. But when you're typing manuscripts, print newsletters, special reports, or anything that requires good typography, use them as described above. If nothing else sticks, make sure you always use two hyphens when you can't create an em dash. You'll find more information on dashes at: References Used: * The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th Edition ISBN 0-226-10389-7 * The Copyeditor's Handbook, Amy Einsohn ISBN 0-520-21835-3 * The Gregg Reference Manual, Ninth Edition ISBN 0-02-804046-5