Writing

  • Idiotic Idioms

    By Rebecca Garland on December 8, 2011
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    While we all love a good colloquialism, there is most certainly too much of a good thing at times. Idioms, or those charming expressions that don’t make any sense to anyone outside of your area, can be overused. We’ve done a bit on the more offensive and odd slang in the (American) English language, but there are plenty of more […]
  • Yay! It’s Yeah and Yea!

    By Rebecca Garland on September 29, 2011
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    This is driving me crazy. I just got an email with the subject, “Yeah a Birthday Baby is Born”. I’m not sure the sender (who is not known for her grammatical prowess) meant to sound as sarcastic as the teenagers we teach, but to someone who knows the difference between “yeah”, “yea” and “yay”, she did. And just what is […]
  • What Your Writing Says about You

    By Rebecca Garland on September 1, 2011
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    Nobody’s perfect, but most of try to get as close as possible, at least in our writing. Over the years, I’ve developed a laidback approach to the grammar and spellings of others, probably because I’m bombarded with bad spelling mistakes and grammar choices on any given day. Unlike many other writers, I also feel there are markets for all sorts […]
  • Writing Mistakes I See Too Often

    By Rebecca Garland on July 21, 2011
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    Typos are a way of life and even reviewing your own work can be tricky since you tend to read what you meant to say rather than what you actually said. Then, there is an entirely different kind of writing goofs – these aren’t accidents from your finger slipping on the keyboard. These are blatant errors and if you’re making […]
  • Tricky Words: Past, Passed, Except and Accept

    By Rebecca Garland on June 23, 2011
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    In the last week, two tricky word patterns have made it to my attention. This is particularly interesting since I’m not in the classroom over the summer, where I usually am assaulted by word problems. Here are my most recent scenarios: Scenario 1: The Email for Past and Passed I was asked via email about the words “past” and “passed.” […]
  • How To Create Jokes On The Can

    By Matt Willard on March 10, 2011
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    The following is a part of our Make Your Writing Funny series.  People who know me know that I talk to myself a lot. Hey, I was a lonely kid - no wonder I make an excellent conversational partner. Then again, I think one of my favorite cartoon characters summed it up best: "I simply have a penchant for INTELLIGENT […]
  • Editing: You’re the Professional

    By Guest on February 18, 2011
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    The following is a guest post from CJ Arlotta. Every word is chosen carefully; every sentence is structured for perfection. Paragraphs are crossed out, and pages are destroyed; commas are added and omitted. Careless spelling errors are picked up by spell check, but another set of eyes is needed, for spell check does not pick up the wrong version of […]
  • Recovering from Poorly Received Material

    By Matt Willard on December 30, 2010
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    I like to think I create good comedy on a consistent basis. But sometimes I write a stinker, something so dreadful that I cringe whenever I think about it. One example is an article I wrote for another website where I criticized photos in a ranting, raving style. Commentors hated it. It's feedback I won't forget any time soon. Confronting […]
  • Conveying Different Forms of Humor

    By Matt Willard on December 23, 2010
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    Comedy exists in a variety of forms - there's observational comedy, improv, one-liners, slapstick, satires, spoofs, what have you. These forms of comedy have been used in a ton of mediums as well, ranging from witty articles to humorous fiction, to sitcoms and movies. Comedy is a Swiss army knife of its own kind. As a freelance writer, though, you're […]
  • Organization in Writing: A Lost Art

    By Rebecca Garland on December 18, 2010
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    Remember the days of the five-paragraph essay? We started in elementary school learning about topic sentences and then main ideas. We threw in some supporting details, restated that topic statement and rounded that paper out. It was clean, it was simple, and yet it is fast becoming a relic we need to bring back! When you’re learning to write in […]