shinyideas@gmail.com

Writing & Editing Tips

Editing and Writing

Lists of Commonly Misspelled English Words

After years of not remembering, the only way I could finally remind myself how to spell “occasionally” was to make up a personal mnemonic: “The external consonants are doubled, the internal ones are not.”

Chicago Manual passing the torch

I’ll continue using my 15th Edition for a while yet, until I can manage to buy a copy of the 16th. It’s exciting to see the new, most up-to-date version coming out, but my faithful orange book has a lot of mileage in her yet.

The Great Typo Hunt

If you’re one of those people who sees a typo on a grocery store sign and just goes mad, wanting to eradicate the error from the face of the earth, you’ll be cheering and waving your pom poms at this story.

What you say is what you create

Believe it or not, sometimes the language you speak actually determines how you think in the first place.

Read Your Own Comments Before Clicking “Post”

The XKCD web comic highlights a problem we’ve probably all noticed — and perpetuated — in comments we add to sites like YouTube, Facebook, or even on newspaper articles and blogs. This is kind of a wakeup call we should all pay attention to: I found this comic through the Learn Your Damn Homophones site.…
Read more

How to Tell When a Speaker Isn’t Thinking, and How Not to Become That Speaker

Here’s a word of advice if you are ever the subject of an interview: Have a conversation, not a recital.

Push the Plot Forward

You can’t insert characters or events into your story just because you “like them.” They have to have a reason for existing

The Oatmeal Clarifies Misspelled Words

…and, you know, kind of does my job for me! 🙂 But this is a great summary of a lot of words people constantly misspell or use in the wrong places. (Notice that I said “a lot”? This page is very firm, and very correct, when it says ‘Alot” is not a word.) Whether you…
Read more