What Topics Do You Want To See Covered in The Blog?

By Daniel Scocco

We know that a blog is only as good as it meets the needs and interests of its readers, and that is why we wanted to hear from you.

What topics do you want to see covered in future posts? Do you have one specific pet peeve you want to see analyzed by Maeve? What about post formats: do you want more interactive stuff like polls and tests? Perhaps another writing competition?

Let us know with a comment on this post, and we’ll certainly try to accommodate it. If you are an email or RSS subscriber you’ll need to visit the website to leave your comment (you can do this by clicking on the title of the this post).

Thanks!

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81 Responses to “What Topics Do You Want To See Covered in The Blog?”

  • Julia

    I like the idea of a writing competition. I have never entered one, it sounds like fun.
    Also, if you could address who/whom it would be great, I always have a problem with it.

  • eamonn rafferty

    Topics covered:

    Verbs used intransitively and transitively, eg warn and said
    Using gerunds

  • Buffet

    I thoroughly enjoy it, just as it is.

  • María José

    I´d like to know more about prepositions, and adjectives. Thanks.

  • Diann Mazingo

    Topic suggestion: Lay vs. Lie

  • Tony Wilson

    Please would you, in one of the blogs, cover the difference between assume and presume.

  • Patrick

    Hi,
    I really appreciate dailywiritingtips give me help.

    I would like know more about idiom and phrase.
    I am also interest in grammar.

    If dailywirtingtips can add those two parts to daily email, that will be perfect.

    Patrick

  • Filip Simunovic

    Hi! Congrats on your posts, great work! I’d be interested in reading a post on article usage. More specifically, the situation where the decision is between ‘the’ and no article at all. Thanks and keep going.

  • Hugh Houchin

    Enjoy your blog each day. I’d like information on increasing one’s speed in writing articles. It takes me too long, on a per-article basis. I write on three websites, and read about writers producing 10 to 15, or more, 500 word articles a day, including research. I can’t come close to that. Both research and writing take me too long, but have been unable get much faster. Thanks, Hugh

  • M. Lichlyter

    Would you mind going over (again!) how to use of punctuation to set off words and phrases? I see the abundant use of only one comma where I think there should be two. But perhaps the rules have changed.

    For instance, I see:

    Mr. John Doe, of Boise, Idaho arrived yesterday.

    instead of

    Mr. John Doe, of Boise, Idaho, arrived yesterday.

    or

    We will meet on Wednesday, October 17 at the restaurant.

    instead of

    We will meet on Wednesday, October 17, at the restaurant.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Mary Sikora

    I teach a memoir writing class at a local retirement center. As it is, your column has been extremely helpful, especially when the discussion is on usage . . . or, “how things used to be” vs. our ever-changing language.

    Most of them use their computers for writing and for email. They love tests and they love polls and they enter local writing contests frequently. So any time you offer these, they will love it.

  • lablu

    sometimes we need to know antonym synonyms. if we get something from this blog, it is helpful.

  • ApK

    I like the format of the blog the way it is. I get little bit of passive learning each day, and if the topic inspires comment, the comment section provides a nice concise bite-size discussion for those who are interested.
    It’s distinct from the (often but not always pleasurable) time suck that is a standard discussion forum.
    As for specific suggestions of topic, I would like to see the topic I mentioned in a comment a few weeks ago: Why is standard grammar and usage important? Why isn’t enough that we merely grunt out enough nouns and verbs to be understood? What makes some changes in a living language good and others not so good? Who decides what’s right?

  • ApK

    p.s. is there a way to get notified of comments via email after the fact, if you forget to check that box when you post?

  • durai

    I start with thanking you for your wonderful job of educating us. I personally feel that topics related with “preposition usage” could add more interest to the reader like me.

  • mortie

    I would like to see something on clauses. Subordinate and Independent clauses and when to use commas with because.

  • mortie

    Subordinate and independent clauses and when to use commas with because clauses, with examples.

  • Arthur Risser

    I think you’re doing a great job as is. Although many of my e-mails get read only as far as the subject line, your’s gets read daily. Thank you for all your efforts!

  • Amit Dey

    The Writing Tips, I’ve been receiving are very helpful. However, It would be great if they are based on day-to-day usage of the English language.

    Amit Dey
    Communication Trainer

  • kirk crist

    as an avid reader and audio book user i would like to appeal to all of the writers out there who are lost and caught up in the literary? crime of ignorance in participating in a form that should have been taught out of all writing classes eons ago. [THE REDUNDANCY OF THE MONALOGUE WITHIN THE DIALOGUE] for instance the constant use of ‘i said’ he said’ ‘she said’ etc. when it is very evident to any reader who is speaking, you can basically ignore these useless words in print but in audio it becomes tedious

  • Joseph

    We know that irrevocable is pronounced with emphasis on the first e and not on the o as many people say. It would be logical to assume that words like irreversible, irreparable, etc., would follow the same rule.

    What is the correct pronunciation of those words?

  • Chris

    Over use of the the words “I” and “that”.

  • Cesar

    Hi. What I enjoy the most from DWT are the posts about two (or more) words that you could have sworn are the same single word, but have two distinct meanings. I believe most of those are extremely educational, even for experienced English speakers/writers. One of these cases that comes to mind, and which you haven’t covered yet, is “Discrete/Discreet”.

    I would also like to ask about a subject on which I have found very little information anywhere on the Internet: dividing your writing into subchapters and scenes, and the different methods of doing so. How can you know when to make a clear break (I think some people call these “section breaks” or “thought breaks”) with double spacing or fancy decorations, and when to just make a new paragraph?

    Anyways, thanks for the great work on your blog!

  • Pete Borger

    Have read your blog since I found out about it. It has always been helpful!
    I write, and this is a writer’s blog, but most of the posts I see, including many of the suggestions above, have more to do with only mechanics and rhetoric. I’d like to see more of the creation end of this business, how characters can take on lives, how stories are woven, what part complexity plays, what makes a story readable.
    I know, a dreamer, as many of us are, but competing in this profession is about more than just getting the syntax right, although that is certainly a first step.
    Thanks for asking,
    Pete

  • kate

    I have two websites therapuppy.com and familyservicesNH.com.
    How has the internet effected how we write?

    Looking at passages fron great works of literature
    that show examnples of correct, incorrect, creative use of
    language and grammer.

  • Ken Edds

    A peeve: use of archaic, outmoded (but still acceptable) forms of certain words, such as ‘roofs” (rooves).

  • Maeve

    @ ApK
    “I would like to see the topic I mentioned in a comment a few weeks ago: Why is standard grammar and usage important?”

    I’ve been working on a response to your comment since you made it. So far I’m on the fourth draft. It is a very philosophical question.

    Until I complete this latest effort, here are some previous articles in which I touch on this question:

    http://www.dailywritingtips.com/what-to-do-about-non-standard-english/

    http://www.dailywritingtips.com/why-bother-about-correctness/

    http://www.dailywritingtips.com/good-writing-a-matter-of-opinion/

    http://www.dailywritingtips.com/why-so-much-anger-over-usage/

  • Kathleen Babbs

    I enjoy the daily emails but the frustration caused by trying to follow links is getting the old lady down.

    Couldn’t we have simple links and directions for contacting the appropriate person or department right at the end of the email? This spot worked fine for me today but things are not usually so easy.

    I had a very frustrating time trying to download the recent book. I didn’t know whom to contact, or how, but Daniel Scocco finally sorted me out. It shouldn’t have been so difficult and I should not have needed to waste anyone’s time.

    As regards content of the posts: I enjoy them just as they are, but would like to have an easy way to list a few news programme comments that seem to me—with my very limited education—to be incorrect.

    Thanks.

  • Christine Shuck

    Affect versus Effect?

    I apologize if this has been covered and I just haven’t seen it. I used to go round and round about it with an old boss of mine. I know I was right, I’m just looking for vindication!

  • Christine Shuck

    Also…I don’t know if you ever cover this, but…

    Any information you have on how much of an excerpt a person can post of their own work and not step on publisher’s toes when submitting a manuscript for their acceptance would be helpful.

  • Judith

    Is there such a thing in English as verb tenses called realis and irrealis? If so what is their origin and how are they used?

  • Victoria

    AS IT IS PLEASE!
    As a travel writer, I really appreciate the grammar tips and the differences between this word and that. It’s also magic having one tip per day … quick enough to read inbetween my other duties 😉
    Thank you for a great job!

  • Rae

    I’d like to know when (or if) it became acceptable to refer to an individual in the military as a troop, i.e. “Three troops were injured today.”

  • Diane James

    I enjoy your blog very much. Please do a blog on the difference between lie (recline) and lay and their conjugations. Thanks!

  • Edward Alban

    Some of the misuses of language that you report are so stupid and irritating that I have to remind myself that you are only the messenger. I should thank you rather than slay you. Could you address the process by which you catch these? Do you have scouts? Who, for example, keeps records of neologisms? Where? How?
    However you do it, I enjoy it and I thank you. Keep it coming.

  • James

    Plural possessives

  • Nancy

    Several things I would like to see covered are:

    Redundancies such as ‘reason why’ and ‘and also’
    Saying ‘try and’ instead of ‘try to’
    Correct use of the word ‘which’
    Beginning sentences with conjunctions

    These are all things I see every day from professional writers.

  • Katie

    Punctuation is of interest to me.

  • Des

    i guess u should tell about experiences and tips for a better living
    and myths and thought provoking legends would be really appriecitated(sorry dont know the spellings !)

  • Nancy

    I enjoy the range of topics, and have used some of them in my media writing classes — where my students can use help on pretty much everything! The misused words that you decode are very useful, at least partly because they read so much less than their predecessors and tend to mis-hear. They often slaughter common sayings for the same reason (“a horse of a different collar”). It’s tough to build vocabulary without the printed word; often it’s the most promising young writers who make the biggest mistakes by relying on ears instead of eyes.

    You’re doing terrific work. Thank you.

  • Someone

    I would read useful stuff for freelance writer as well as creative fiction writers. (For beginners and professionals).

  • Matthew F.

    I would like to see more on how to create and develop the various of writing style forms, such as, short short, gothic, magical realism, dirty realism, post-modernism, etc. I would like to find my own writing style and see if you can help me with this through tips and ideas to finding that. I would love to write more creativity and descriptives too. I know this is probably too much to ask but that what’s on my mind. I have this story developed but need more work. It would be great to see if a mentor could be develop for newbie writers.

  • Hunter

    I am writing a novel right now and I was just wondering what is the best way to make my writing pop with details, correct grammer, and emotional indifferences?

  • Catrina Velez

    I would like to see a discussion of how to handle foreign words in a story written in English. A case in point is the Spanish word “jacal.” It means a small shelter, perhaps a stable or a primitive human habitation, especially in Mexico, and the origin of the word is disputable. It may have come from the Spanish “jaca” a pony, or from an indigenous word in Nahua or another native language. There is no equivalent in English. But, if the writer spells it correctly, an English-speaking reader may think “Jackal” so what is the solution? If the writer writes HAH-CAHL, this is ridiculous. What is your take on this problem?

  • Bernard

    I’m curenntly working on a book involving characters from Canada, England and the USA. A large portion of the book covers the end of the 19th century. So writing tips related to differnces between sentance structures and specific spelling of Canadian English, British English VS Americain English would be appreciated. For example, we’ve all been told to avoid adverbs. But, they were frequent, if not omnipresent in the Victorian English used by the “upper” class.

  • Phil dragonetti

    A die is the microscopic substrate upon which microscopic transistors are place during manufacture of an integrated circuit.
    If an integrated circuits contains a 1000 of them then it contains 1000 dies or 1000 dice.

    You would be surprised at how many “hi-IQ” engineers and tech writers write stuff like: “There are 1000 die in the IC.”

    Please teach tem that the plural of “die” is “dies” or “dice.”

    Also, the word “fullest” has no meaning as it is impossible to be more full than full. If fullest is OK—then why not fullestest—or even fullestestest???

  • Kate

    I’d prefer the blog to stick to grammatical subjects, explaining difficult grammar use. there are other blogs available for people who want to discern the difference between challenging vocabulary words. that is not a writing tip, that is a word tip.

  • Dan

    Love this blog and learn something new from it almost every day.

    Was wondering if you could add some tips on pronunciation. (The commercials on TV sometimes drive me to distraction!)

    For example, “wallah” vs. the French word “Voila”. Or “Jesus disciples” vs. “Jesus-ez disciples”.

    Thanks!

  • Jim Chazer

    I would like to see more explanations about the parts of speech and how they all fit together. For instance, I have no idea what a “dangling participle” is.

    My preferred personal learning method would be for you to give a list of ALL the parts of speech first so it doesn’t seem as if there is an infinite amount of items to learn.

    Please use plenty of examples. It probably won’t work to define one part of speech using another.

    Thanks for asking. And this would be a great time for me to tell you how much I enjoy your blog.

    – Jim

  • hans m

    How to properly use punctuation, particularly comma, colon and semicolon.

    I would also like an analysis of why “near miss” for the situation when something almost hits something else. It riles me up but I can’t really explain why.

    Thank you for this great blog!

  • AmaT

    I write for children – articles, stories, fiction, non-fiction, and novels. I am interested in posts addressing the development of characters, plot, first-page hooks, and satisfying endings for all types of genres.

  • Julsp

    Correct use of your and you’re would be good and other apostrophe related useage. Textese vs gramatical English would be fun!

  • Lauren

    I’m wondering about the phrases “including myself,” “including me,” etc. Is it grammatically incorrect to use it in a sentence such as “The nine club members, myself included, strive to blah blah blah.” I feel that it is incorrect, but I see it a lot. Has it come to be accepted? What about in formal writing? “Including I” seems to be correct, but it sounds weird.

  • Douglas Hadddon

    I like all you do and look forward to your blog. Keep up the good work.

  • Maeve

    @Lauren
    It would be “including me.” “Including” takes an object, hence “me” and not “I.”

    See
    http://www.dailywritingtips.com/me-myself-and-i/

  • AlexandraD

    Hi, I am a swede currently living in Australia. Within a year I and my spouse are moving to Singapore. I want to study psychology at National University of Singapore; therefore I need to do the SAT test. It would be great if you could post anything related to the SAT. Since English is my foreign language I’m battling a slightly bit more with the critical reading and writing parts. Cheers!

  • ApK

    Kate wrote”

    “I’d prefer the blog to stick to grammatical subjects, explaining difficult grammar use. there are other blogs available for people who want to discern the difference between challenging vocabulary words. that is not a writing tip, that is a word tip.”

    I emphatically disagree. You are asking for a grammar blog. Writing is grammar, syntax, style, word choice, literary devices, spelling , finding a voice, and myriad other factors that go into the craft of communicating effectively and/or artistically with the written word. Grammarian does not equal writer.

  • D. Carlino

    I’m a 7th and 8th grade writing teacher, and I hate the use of the 2nd person in expository writing…i.e. (from a 7th grade paper) “when you abuse animals, you are committing a crime.” Doesn’t that imply that the reader is a criminal who is an animal abuser? What are the proper uses of ‘you’ in expository writing and what are some creative ways of fixing this sort of problem?

    Also, my husband and I debate about the use of contractions in formal (academic) writing. I feel that contractions are warranted in some circumstances; he feels that they should never be allowable. What is correct and why?

  • Mari

    Peeve

    “Gigabyte” = prefix as in “gigantic”, so why does everyone say “gig”? (Sheep complex??)

    I have more peeves but this one will do for now!
    Thank you!

  • Ralph Mielcarek

    Please explain:

    Is the phrase CONTINUE ON — giving advice or instruction, considered redundant, or will CONTINUE suffice?

  • Vincent

    I would like to know more about the ‘s’ as to where their correct placement lies? E.g.

    “He wants to go home”

    This is just a short sentence although I know the word has to contain an ‘s’ but there are some sentences where you get confused.

    I would be glad if that’s considered.

  • Don

    Some pet peeves:

    “As of yet” (as opposed to “as yet” or “as of now”).
    “As of late” (as opposed to “of late”).

  • Caroline

    I love this blog. It delivers easy-to-digest chunks of information right to my email, and all on topics I’d never think to look up on my own.

    I know there are other sites online that are equally as informative. I was wondering if you could share some links to some of your favourites (or ones you feel are useful) and the sort of information we may find there. (Perhaps there are some that deal with issues not covered by dailywritingtips.)

    Another question: I write creative fiction and I always have trouble *feeling* my characters. This is especially difficult through first person perspective, as I think I over-compensate for my characters’ behaviours. However, I’ve also had trouble really getting a feel for my characters while writing in third pov. I’ve read tips on character creation and how it’s good to have a list of their backstory to get a better idea of who they are (mother, father, favourite colour, phobias, scars, pets, etc. etc.), and even though I’ve followed those hints, these tips don’t really addresses my issues. I have friends who tell me they like my characters’ personalities, but I feel like I’m too close to them to really know them.
    This may, of course, be a personal issue that can’t be solved with tips on writing characters, but it’s worth a shot. Any advice on how to write characters that are tangible to readers and myself?

    Thank you again for all the lovely tips. They are much appreciated.

  • Penny Milner-Smyth

    Thanks for the opportunity to submit topics. I would really like a comment on this phrase that I hear people using in a number of situations: “Thank you for coming through…”. I have heard radio interviewers use it when interviewing people on the phone (are they coming through the telephone line?) and when people attend a job interview in person, as examples. I am from South Africa, perhaps this is just a local bad habit but if it is something that might be of interest to your wider audience I would love your comment on the suitability of saying to a person “Thank you for coming through!”.

  • SUMANA MUKHERJEE

    There are many writers who wish to earn from their blogs .it would help them if some hints about starting first as a writer of blogs could be outlined .

  • techsurge

    I would like to see a series on analyzing and comprehending RC( Reading Comprehension) and reports. specifically how to read between lines in an RC. Be it CRitical Reasoning, summarizing, finding the author’s tone. But something new and interesting….

  • Adrian

    This is a splendid website, keep it up!

  • Adrian

    Hugh Houchin on August 16, 2010 10:29 am
    Enjoy your blog each day. I’d like information on increasing one’s speed in writing articles. It takes me too long, on a per-article basis. I write on three websites, and read about writers producing 10 to 15, or more, 500 word articles a day, including research. I can’t come close to that. Both research and writing take me too long, but have been unable get much faster. Thanks, Hugh

    I use DragonDictate 9 and can usually apply words to the page (as in this case) at approximately the same speed as one can read it. I average about one phonetic error in every hundred words.

  • Chris

    Enjoy as is but more interactive please.

  • Peter

    @Mari: “Gigabyte” = prefix as in “gigantic”, so why does everyone say “gig”? (Sheep complex??)

    It’s supposed to be pronounced with a hard “g”.

    (The more sensible question is why “gigantic” is pronounced the way it is. It comes, via Latin, from Greek — neither of which ever has a “j” sound…)

  • Gary Scott

    Your blog is an incredible site! You are performing a service that is sadly too often abrogated by our educational insitutions (see my personal blog entry for additional commentary, scottmind@blogspot.com).

    I could think of dozens of possible topics for the blog, but here are just a couple: 1. use of the subjunctive in English (surely we can get people to stop saying “if I was….”); and 2. why are schools failing to teach grammar, and what can we do about it–and perhaps a kudos to any schools you are aware of that DO teach grammar.

    Many thanks!

  • Daniel

    I just love the etymology on words, especially finding out how seemingly unrelated words are connected. Today’s post “The Curious History of “Bead”” for example. Fascinating stuff.

  • Jo

    I enjoy the daily posts. Do you have an archive so I could catch up on topics already covered?

    2 suggestions

    1. the difference and usage or ‘passed’ and ‘past’.
    2. correct use of the apostrophe before and after the letter ‘s’. I think there are more than just the 2 common uses, to indicate possession etc.

  • rod

    It would be great If you could post something about acronyms abbreviations and short words like vet or lab

  • Tricia

    To those who mentioned lie and lay: The misuse of lay when it should be lie (and in the present tense, even!) produces a fingernail-on-the-blackboard sensation in my brain. I wish Maeve could do away with it in a post! But alas, I wonder how many who read it would actually use it correctly thereafter?

    Sorry, I know that probably sounds awful, but this seems like the appropriate place to vent. There. It’s out now.

  • Ken

    “Such a set of tittle tattle, prittle prattle visitants! Oh Dear! I am so sick of the ceremony and fuss of these fall lall people! So much dressing—chitchat—complimentary nonsense—In short, a country town is my detestation. All the conversation is scandal, all the attention, dress, and almost all the heart, folly, envy, and censoriousness.” — Frances Burney

    What on earth is “prittle”? Is this a coinage of Burney?

  • lulu

    first i wanna thank you daily writing tips for such a wonderful facts and lessons shared with me.
    ya, im sure , readers will agree to have polls and questions in your post.

    thanks,

  • Peter

    Tricia: your wish has been answered — http://www.dailywritingtips.com/mixing-up-lay-and-lie/ ; http://www.dailywritingtips.com/laylie-moribund-but-not-dead-yet/

  • Hari Krishnan

    All the posts are very interesting and informative. I love them. And find that my ideas and understanding of the words discussed turn out to be correct. That way, my conviction gets strengthened all the more. Sometimes I feel like writing on a few wrong usages and contribute to the postings. For instance, the very popular usage of the phrase ‘according to me’ especially in the North India. I hope you allow such contributions from readers, review and publish if found appropriate. Now, if you do, how do I participate? Guide me please. (Btw, a small information about me. I was the Asst. Publishing Editor of Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Tamil version–a translation–, published about 3 years back.)

  • Amit Dey

    What do we use to call a BABY, who is not yet born?
    He or She, His or her? OR It / Its?

  • Brianna

    Could you cover who/whom? I always get confused on which one to use.
    Also, could you cover how to become better at organizing a fiction plot for a novel? I have trouble organzing my plot and it gets messy and eventually doesn’t even make sense. Also how to start a novel. I can get the middle and end, but I always have a problem with an attention grabbing beginning page.

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