Tuesday’s Writing Tips: Personally

Tuesday’s Writing Tips 

The Elements of Style

It’s time for another writing tip from the book The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

Misused words and expressions.

Personally.

Often unnecessary.

Incorrect: Personally, I thought it was a good book.

Correct: I thought it was a good book.

~

daisy haiku

 

Today’s Haiku

reaching for the sky
she pushes past obstacles—
escaping dark clouds

 ~

Have a fantastic day!

~Nicole

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Tuesday’s Writing Tips: Careless

Tuesday’s Writing Tips 

The Elements of Style

It’s time for another writing tip from the book The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

Misused words and expressions.

Care less.

The dismissive “I couldn’t care less” is often used with the shortened “not” mistakenly (and mysteriously) omitted: “I could care less.” The error destroys the meaning of the sentence and is careless indeed.

 

~

cat hummingbird friend haiku

 

Today’s Haiku

open your heart
and build a lasting friendship—
all judgment aside

 ~

Have a fantastic day!

~Nicole

Tuesday’s Writing Tips: Don’t Construct Awkward Adverbs

Tuesday’s Writing Tips 

The Elements of Style

It’s time for another writing tip from the book The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

Don’t construct awkward adverbs.

Adverbs are easy to build. Take an adjective or a participle, add -ly, and behold! you have an adverb. But you’d probably be better off without it. Don’t write tangledly. The word itself is a tangle. Don’t even write tiredly. Nobody says tangledly or tiredly. Words that are not used orally are seldom the ones to put on paper.

NO: He climbed tiredly to bed.

YES: He climbed wearily to bed.

NO: The lamp cord lay tangledly beneath her chair.

YES: The lamp cord lay in tangles beneath her chair.

Don’t dress words up by adding -ly to them, as though putting a hat on a horse.

Instead of overly, use over.

Instead of muchly, use much.

Instead of thusly, use thus.

~

typewriter-haiku

 

Today’s Haiku

Speech constricted while
paranoia wraps each word—
truth is on paper

 ~

Have a fantastic day!

~Nicole

Tuesday’s Writing Tips: Avoid Foreign Languages

Tuesday’s Writing Tips 

The Elements of Style

It’s time for another writing tip from the book The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

Avoid foreign languages.

The writer will occasionally find it convenient or necessary to borrow from other languages. Some writers, however, from sheer exuberance or a desire to show off, sprinkle their work liberally with foreign expressions, with no regard for the reader’s comfort. It’s a bad habit. Write in English.

~

Last weekend, hubby and I hiked in Whitewater State Park. In mid-summer there is a canopy of leaves covering the trail, but there are still dead leaves from last fall that coat the ground. There was a slight breeze blowing through the treetops which made the dead leaves look like they were dancing along the forest floor.

 

dancing leaves haiku

 

Today’s Haiku

dead, crunchy leaves—
shadows dancing like sunlight
piercing a prism

 ~

Have a fantastic day!

~Nicole

Tuesday’s Writing Tips: Allude

Tuesday’s Writing Tips 

The Elements of Style

It’s time for another writing tip from the book The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

Today’s tip comes from the Misused Words and Expressions portion of the book. The word is allude.

Don’t confuse with elude. You allude to a book; you elude a pursuer. Note, too, that allude is not synonymous with refer. An allusion is an indirect mention, a reference is a specific one.

~

Just-as-our-eyes-need-light-in-order haiku

Today’s Haiku

mind is ticking
our path is guided by thoughts,
so dream with purpose

 ~

Are you dreaming with purpose?

~Nicole

Tuesday’s Writing Tips: Hyphen

Tuesday’s Writing Tips 

The Elements of Style

It’s time for another writing tip from the book The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

When two or more words are combined to form a compound adjective, a hyphen is usually required. “He belonged to the leisure class and enjoyed leisure-class pursuits.” “She entered her boat in the round-the-island race.”

Don’t use a hyphen between words that can better be written as one word: water-fowl, waterfowl. Common sense will aid you in the decision, but a dictionary is more reliable. The steady evolution of the language seems to favor union: two words eventually become one, usually after a period of hyphenation:

  1. bed chamber, bed-chamber, bedchamber
  2. wild life, wild-life, wildlife
  3. bell boy, bell-boy, bellboy

The hyphen can play tricks on the unwary, as it did in Chattanooga when two newspapers merged—The Chattanooga News and the Free Press. Someone introduced a hyphen in to the merger, and the paper became The Chattanooga News-Free Press, which sounds as though the paper were news-free, or devoid of news. Obviously, we ask too much of a hyphen when we ask it to cast its spell over words it does not adjoin.

Today, I leave you with a quote from Napoleon Hill.

“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”

patience haiku

 

Today’s Haiku

meditation
close your eyes open your soul
envision your dream

 ~

How is your patience level today?

~Nicole

Tuesday’s Writing Tips: Parentheses

Tuesday’s Writing Tips 

The Elements of Style

It’s time for another writing tip from the book The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

I selected parantheses because I am reading Gone Girl, and there are lots of sentences and expressions in parentheses in this book. I wanted to make sure I knew the rules of punctuation. I thought this tidbit was useful.

Parentheses

A sentence containing an expression in parentheses is punctuated outside the last mark of parenthesis exactly as if the parenthetical expression were absent. The expression within the marks is punctuated as if it stood by itself, except that the final stop is omitted unless it is a question mark or an exclamation point.

I went to her house yesterday (my third attempt to see her), but she had left town.

He declares (and why should we doubt his good faith?) that he is now certain of success.

(When a wholly detached expression or sentence is parenthesized, the final stop comes before the last mark of parenthesis.)

Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.”
~E. Joseph Cossman

obstacles haiku

Today’s Haiku

blockade lies ahead
but only for a moment—
eye on the prize

 ~

Are you plagued with obstacles?

~Nicole