‘writersblock’ Category

  1. When social media gets you down.

    February 21, 2013 by edotgdot


  2. The Cost of a Typo.

    February 13, 2013 by edotgdot

    A typo. To some, it’s no big deal.

    Maybe to you a typo is only something that irritates those sticklers for grammar or priggish perfectionists. I am horrified when I type a quick email and notice an awkward phrase or a misspelled word. Typos are cringeworthy. Unfortunately, typos happen (and they happen more often than they should!) In this fast-paced world, we are pressed for time and attention. Maybe a typo is miniscule in the grand scheme, but a silly, little typo could cost you.
    For me, a typo could mean that I lose a client, prospective work, money, time or (gasp) respect. But a typo isn’t the plight of only the editor. There could be a loss for you as a professional or business owner. You could miss out on a job opportunity, academic appointment or customer. People might think you are less intelligent. You could even miss out on a date.
    A recent Yahoo! article talks about a woman who did not proofread her bank statement and as a result she lost thousands of dollars. This story seems a little farfetched in that the woman did not check her bank statements for years, but it got me thinking—a typo is serious. Perhaps I am embellishing. Nevertheless, it is important to check your work.
    Some tips to avoid those messy mistakes:
    First things first: run a spelling and grammar check.
    Print out a copy and read aloud.
    Read the work in reverse.
    Ask a friend, family member or an editor to review for you. Or all three.
    Take some time away from your writing. Go back and review it later when it isn’t so fresh.

  3. Don’t judge.

    January 29, 2013 by edotgdot


    January 23, 2013 by edotgdot

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  5. I’d like to iterate and reiterate. . .

    December 4, 2012 by edotgdot

    Reiterate is a word that we hear frequently in conversation, but is misused. Or is it? After a quick Google search, I found reiterate defined on Merriam-Webster online as “to state or do over again or repeatedly sometimes with wearying effect.” Fair enough.

    If it’s in the dictionary then it’s a safe bet, right? The question here is about usage. Future Perfect Communications says that “reiterate crept into the language through what’s known as hypercorrection: correcting something which is already right.”

    The website further explains that because many people are unaware of the meaning iterate, they add the re as a prefix to give the again element. Iterate (alone) means “to say or do again or again and again.”

    So you could reiterate some for example, used correctly in a sentence it could be written as:

    The teacher iterates and reiterates her grammar lessons so the students absorb the information before the final exam.

    Divine Caroline of Life in your Words says: “My high school geometry teacher clued us into this re-redundant word. Iterate means to say or do again, making the “re” before it useless.”

    Merriam-Webster online lists reiterate as a synonym to iterate. So perhaps this is another case of proper usage falling to the wayside. Future Perfect Communications stresses that iterate would be to repeat once  and so reiterate is to repeat two or more times.

    To be safe and that is if you are hanging around grammarians or literature majors, instead of asking “can you reiterate, please” ask “can you repeat that last statement” instead.



  6. Me, Myself, and Why.

    November 7, 2012 by edotgdot

    Me or Myself?


    A frequently asked question and a common mistake. Many people use myself when they should simply use me. For example, in the sentence below we will examine what word to use.

    When in doubt, contact an editor, writer, or myself with any questions.

    Is this proper? Here’s a quick and dirty tip from Grammar Girl. Think about the sentence as if you are the only one in it. Remove editor and writer from the sentence above and you are left with:

    When in doubt, contact myself with any questions. (This statement even sounds off, doesn’t it?)

    Me is the appropriate word to use here. Then the right way to write the first statement is:

    When in doubt, contact an editor, writer, or me with any questions.

    Myself is a reflexive pronoun when you are the direct object of the sentence. Another great tip from University of Houston-Victoria, only use myself when you have already referred to yourself in the sentence. Furthermore, myself will be used for emphasis such as:

    I wrote this blog post myself.

    I myself do not care for foie gras.

    I saw the Grand Canyon myself and can attest to its magnificence.

    Generally speaking, myself is used much less frequently than me.

    Sources: Grammar Girl; University of Houston-Victoria; Wikipedia




  7. Back to School. How about Back to Work?

    September 6, 2012 by edotgdot

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  8. Get Prompted.

    July 20, 2012 by edotgdot

    What would you do if…


    It’s Friday and instead of writing about grammar, let’s have fun with our writing, eh? Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that writing can be enjoyable and a great way to let loose. So this weekend—instead of looking at the craft as an often difficult chore—let’s just go with the flow.

    Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Maybe not so much, say most people who have tried to develop a creative work of any kind. I know what you are saying, but I am seeking the joy in this process rather than the agony of it. By that I mean jumping in without my precious ego. Shouldn’t writers find their passion stimulating and energizing rather than feeling weighed down by having to be the next Shakespeare/Dumas/Austen/Steinbeck…and the list goes on and on.

    How about trying a weekly writing prompt to get yourself going? A little kickstart to get the creative juices flowing and your hand moving across the page. Writer’s Digest and other sites offer a variety of prompts that put you in often sticky situations that can get you going. Let’s start with this one that I crafted here.

    You have been gifted with your far-removed aunt’s grand estate deep in the bayou. You do not know much about her except that she has not been in contact with most of your family for years because of some controversial beliefs. Being the black sheep, curious and down on luck, you travel down to the home to check things out. Through the dust you find many treasures, antiques, jewelry, one of which seems to be a spell book. You flip it open and find a note “to my niece who must carry on my work. Kill T.O.” The lights flicker and you see female figure standing in the doorway. You…

     (okay now write!)

  9. Comedy. Comma-dy.

    June 27, 2012 by edotgdot

  10. Compare to or with…

    April 16, 2012 by edotgdot

    During this week’s editing adventures, I came across a word choice issue when using the verb compare. When is it appropriate to write compare to and when is it correct to use compare with? Or is this an issue at all? Either to or with can be swapped in some cases, but there is a difference. With a little research, here are my conclusions:

    Use compare to when…
    The purpose is to liken two things or put them in the same category. So if the subjects are alike then use compare to: “I would compare my handwriting to a third grader’s.”

    Use compare with when…
    the end result is to juxtapose two things, place one thing side by side with another, not to examine similarities but the differences. “Our budget of $10 million is minuscule compared with last year’s budget of $50 million.”

    Sources: Daily Writing Tips; The Careful Writer, Theodore M. Bernstein

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