Tagged With writing

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English is a weird language. None of our grammatical rules ever seem to be evenly applied without exceptions, and irregular verbs are no different. For most verbs in the English language, changing to past tense is as simple as adding 'ed' on the end. But then there's a whole host of words that don't conform to that rule. What gives?

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Whether you're drafting an email or writing a research paper, getting your words onto the page more quickly can help you save hours of your working life. If you want to write more in less time — but without sacrificing quality — you can employ a few tricks to speed things up.

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The semicolon may have a reputation as being the most aloof and intimidating of all punctuation marks. It’s stronger than a comma but lacks the finality of a period. In any case where you might want to use it, you don’t actually have to use it. So why bother? That’s simple; semicolons make writing more interesting.

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When I was in fifth grade, my family moved to a Cincinnati suburb from Illinois. I knew the only way I was going to keep in touch with any of my friends was to write them letters. I soon discovered there was nothing quite as exciting as getting mail, scrawled penmanship and all, addressed to me.

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Before there was LOL and TLDR and STFU, we had other abbreviations that helped us to quickly and easily convey ideas. These still have a useful place in our writing, because they still help us quickly and easily convey ideas. They are i.e. and e.g., and they are not the same thing.

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Interviewing for a potential job is stress-inducing enough itself, without even considering the whole follow-up process. What if you think it went well but you don’t hear back from anyone? Sometimes this is a sign of bad news, and sometimes it isn’t. You want to follow up and find out what’s going on, but you don’t want to be annoying. Here’s how to handle this situation effectively.

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If you’re in the middle of your NaNoWriMo draft and you feel like your novel lacks the kind of sensory detail that other authors seem to include naturally—the kind of writing that makes you feel like you’re inside the story, with the characters, feeling what they’re feeling—it might be time to start carrying an observational notebook.

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Be careful when you ask for writing advice. Some people want to do it the right way — determine what you want to say and to whom, and help you do so. But some only want to bring you in line with their idea of “correct” writing. They’re pedants, who think there’s only one right way to express yourself, and like all pedants, they’d rather be right than smart. They’re neither.

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There are many Sarah Pinskers from many alternate universes. They’ve gathered for SarahCon, a convention held by scientist Sarah Pinsker. And one of the Sarahs has murdered another. That’s the premise of “And Then There Were (N-One),” the first story I read by the real Sarah Pinsker, author of science fiction, fantasy and horror. Pinsker’s first story collection Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea came out in March; her first novel A Song for a New Day came out in September. I talked to her about her careers in writing, music, and non-profits.

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There’s a thing kids do when they write letters or essays. They write “Oh, and...” as if the reader were receiving their words in real time. They don’t know how to hide their stream of consciousness from their writing. If you’re writing in a burst of inspiration, you might do it too. Writing your thoughts out is fine. But before you send, you should edit.

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Google has officially rolled out the most useful addition to Docs we’ve seen in years: a word count. Or, to be more specific, a feature that allows you to get the live word count for whatever document you’re working on. It’s a lot more convenient than having to click through menus to see a static word count over, and over, and over. There is, however, one important caveat.