The Write Stuff
July 2013 Volume 9 Issue 7
“Hot” Writing Tips
Is it too hot to learn anything? Surely not! Here are a couple tips that may come in handy.
1. Think in the singular. Even though you’re writing copy you hope many pairs of eyes will see, reading is a singular experience. Thus, draft your verbiage based on the thought of having a one-on-one engagement with each reader.
Not suggested: You all should take advantage of this offer.
Suggested: You should take advantage of this offer.
2. Know your style. Whether your company has a formal style guide or just a handful of rules to be followed by all writers, make sure you consistently adhere to it. One of the biggest questions I receive concerns whether “percent,” “per cent” or “%” is correct. The middle option shouldn’t be used unless you’re writing for a British audience, and the first or third options are both correct–depending on your company’s style.
Typical usage in technical documents: The Cubs haven’t won 50% of their games this season.
Typical usage in documents that follow AP style: The Cubs haven’t won 50 percent of their games this season.
In Name Only
Take it from an Adrienne (not Andrienne, Adrian or any other incorrect spelling): people appreciate it when you get their name right. It makes them feel better about reading what you have to say when you’ve taken care with your personalization efforts. That includes not automatically shortening names like Pamela, David or Robert–since not everyone is a Pam, Dave or Bob.
Unless you type wearing gloves, odds are your keyboard eventually gets “gunky.” The best way I’ve found to keep the keys of my desktop Mac clean is using isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab. Will your writing efforts be positively affected by a clean keyboard? Who knows…but it can’t hurt.
Do you know businesses that could benefit from my writing or editing expertise, or book authors who need a talented editor? Your referrals will be much appreciated; I’ll treat them like gold and you’ll be considered a superstar for making the introduction.
adriennemoch.com • firstname.lastname@example.org • 619-291-4645