I enjoy writing, but for some time now I just haven’t had the time. So, when I read what others write I usually pick up on things they either say wrong, or on spelling mistakes they make. Magazines have become notorious for either terrible grammar or many spelling mistakes. I know I make mistakes too, so I am willing to learn.
“1. Write and keep writing. Learn by doing.
2. Write in complete sentences--though the heavens may fall.
3. Expand your vocabulary.
4. Be a fanatic about punctuation, especially the semicolon, the prince of punctuation marks.
4. Each paragraph should be one main thought.
5. Do not write one sentence paragraphs.
6. Do not overuse exclamation points. Let your writing be insistent enough that you seldom need them.
7. Properly cite all quotations when called for, as in academic writing.
8. Unless you are a superlative speaker, do not write as you speak, but try to speak as you write.
9. Read stellar writers to inspire you: C.S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and more.
10. Read books on writing such as, Elements of Style, Eats Shoots and Leaves, Simple and Direct.
11. Read "Politics and the English Language" by George Orwell. It is on line.”
A Facebook friend of Doug’s posted a link to an article entitled SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT WRITING by Thomas Sowell, which is well worth reading. Sowell writes, upon being asked how to get write and to get published:
“My usual response is that the only way I know to become a good writer is to be a bad writer and keep on improving.”
I also found an article called 25 Common Phrases That You’re Saying Wrong. Although I found this article extremely funny, I have heard people use most of these wrong phrases. I have also seen people use them in writing. As an example from the article:
“1. Nip it in the butt vs. Nip it in the bud
Nipping something in the bud means that you’re putting an end to it before it has a chance to grow or start. Nipping it in the butt means you’re biting its behind.”
When you read the above mentioned article, make sure that you watch the Youtube video entitled Kramer Statue of imitations embedded in the article. It is a scene from Seinfeld, and it will definitely tickle your funny bone, if you have one of course!
Finally, for those who are truly interested in improving their writing skills and have a Kindle, or a Kindle app, THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE (UPDATED 2011 EDITION) [Kindle Edition] is currently (as of today) only $2.99 (29.90 ZAR).