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The Write Stuff June 2018 Volume 14 Issue 6

Is Your Writing Style Up to Date?

There’s a reason style guides are regularly updated — because things change in the writing world. If you do a lot of business writing, it behooves you to stay on top of things, lest you be considered out of date.

The updates below are applicable for AP style, which is used by journalists and many business writers, including me. Some are applicable for Chicago and other styles, but it’s best to check before you unwittingly blunder.

Words that contain web are lowercase and usually closed up, e.g., website, webmaster, webcam — but web browser and web address are correct.

Don’t capitalize internet. (Gasp — I’ve been doing that wrong.)

The word email is lowercase and without a dash.

Voicemail is one word — and capitalized only at the start of a sentence.

Using they as a singular pronoun is sometimes acceptable — instead of the awkward he or she — but it’s still best to rewrite to avoid its use.

It’s OK to use over and more than interchangeably. (For those who’ve always done that, more than was reserved for quantities, while over was used to refer to a position or location above something.)

There’s no reason to both spell out and use figures for numbers — even in contracts, i.e., bye bye to cancel within three (3) days. Why? In the old days, numbers were repeated to ensure they weren’t altered, and spelled out words were easier to read in often fuzzy carbon copies. (If you don’t know what a carbon copy is, you’re too young to have ever used a typewriter. Ask someone older to explain — and be glad technology has advanced since then.)

Finally, something that’s really not new — use one space, not two, between sentences. All style guides have included that since 2004, but I know plenty of people who still resist, or just can’t break the habit.


A Page-Turner
I was honored to have the opportunity to edit this rather chilling book, Haboob Wind, which starts when a day dedicated to the heroes of 9/11 is disrupted by a terrorist attack. Check it out at amazon.com. It’s a quick read — less than 100 pages — but if you’d prefer to wait for the movie, you’re in luck; Hollywood loved the story and the screenplay is currently being written.

Check Out Our Video
The video featuring Cubbie and I about the drug that helped me control my psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis is now available at stelarainfo.com. Scroll down a little when you get to the page and you’ll see “Adrienne Gave Biologics A Shot.” Don’t fret when you see the video is over 9 minutes; our part is a little more than 2 and a half minutes — the rest is safety information. The shoot took a day and a half, at a Hillcrest home staged to be mine, Mission Beach, and Balboa Park. Also included are some scenic shots around San Diego. As you’ll see, I hold my own — but Cubbie is clearly the star!
Published On: June 14th, 2018 / Categories: 2018 /

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