Year-end Musings aka “Adrienneisms”
While there are certainly plenty of rules associated with writing, you do have some leeway when you are creating content. That’s why you’ll find the same document may look a little different after being reviewed by two or more editors. For instance, if you’ve been a reader of this newsletter for some time, you probably know I remove the word that as often as possible when I believe it’s not necessary.
To bring 2019 to a close — the 15th year of The Write Stuff — here are a couple other “Adrienneisms”:
Plural is often better than singular. Consider the following two sentences:
- Self-evaluations are a great way to see how an employee views his or her performance.
- Self-evaluations are a great way to see how employees view their performance.
The second sentence is not just shorter, it’s cleaner without the clunky use of his or her.
Omit unnecessary words whenever you can. Shorter is always better when it comes to content, so when you edit your work, think about how you can tighten it up without changing the message. In addition to aforementioned that, here are two other “space eaters” to consider eliminating:
- In order. Often found at the beginning of a sentence — In order to have a successful year, we must sell more — deleting it doesn’t affect the verbiage: To have a successful year, we must sell more.
- Here at. Also a phrase that commonly begins a sentence — Here at our company, we put customers first — deleting here makes it cleaner: At our company, we put customers first.
Remember, these are not actual grammar rules, so you can feel free to ignore them — but in my professional opinion, adhering to them will make your writing better. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.
If You Have a Website…
The start of a new year means you should update its copyright date. Make sure it says © 2020 when January rolls around. Why? You want those who visit your site to feel it’s up-to-date, something they won’t be able to do if the copyright date is before 2020 — and perhaps hasn’t been changed since the website was created. While you’re at it, take a look at the content to see if anything needs to be changed or updated. Websites aren’t meant to be static.
A Bylined Article
When I was a reporter, I saw my name in print — by Adrienne Moch — all the time. Now, I’m usually a ghostwriter, so that doesn’t happen much anymore. However, I was delighted to receive a byline for an article I recently wrote for Local Umbrella News about pet probiotics. (Now you know why an adorable picture of Cubbie accompanies this blurb.) Check it out, whether or not you have a four-legged friend you love.