Rich Halloween Moviemakers Hire Cheap Copywriters

This is a guest post by Kevin Craner. If you want to write for Daily Writing Tips check the guidelines here. What’s the scariest thing about Halloween II?  The chilling music?  The gore?  The sight of Michael Myers raising his blood-soaked knife to yet another helpless victim?  Well, if you care about grammar, the scariest … Read more

Don’t Waste “Decimate”

A member of the DWT Forum called my attention to a strange use of the verb “decimate”: . . . today I came across a . . . usage that was new to me: A pundit said that Obama’s failure to get his health care bill passed would have led to “the decimation of his … Read more

DWT Poetry Competition: Ninth Round

It is Tuesday, and as expected another round of our Poetry Competition is live. We have seen 90 poems already, and still have 60 or so to go. After we implemented a second layer of security in the poll it looks like the number of votes per round became stable, which is a good thing. … Read more

When to Spell Out Numbers

Reader Pam points out a significant difference between technical writing and non-technical writing: On your 10 rules for numbers, rule #2 doesn’t tell the whole story, especially for technical writers. Any numbers used with measurements (time, distance) must be expressed as figures in technical writing (8 months, 6-inch nails, 9 p.m.) With any kind of … Read more

36 Poetry Terms

Poetry is an area of writing that has a language all of its own, as contributors to the recent poetry competition will be aware. The following are some of the terms specific to the writing of poetry : alliteration A repeated sound, usually applied only to consonants. anapest A metrical foot : two short/unstressed syllables … Read more

What Color is “Wan”?

My first encounter with the word wan [wŏn)] was in the first stanza of this poem by Sir John Suckling (1609-1642): Why so pale and wan, fond lover? Prithee, why so pale? Will, when looking well can’t move her, Looking ill prevail? Prithee, why so pale? I assumed that wan must be a synonym for … Read more

Weltering in Gore

The expression “weltering in gore” has been around at least since 1593 when Christopher Marlowe used it in Edward II: Upon my weapons point here shouldst thou fall, And welter in thy goare I just noticed it in an Amelia Peabody mystery by Elizabeth Peters. In The Curse of the Pharaohs (1981), Amelia is reluctant … Read more

DWT Poetry Competition: Eighth Round

You guys are probably getting used to a dose of poetry every Tuesday and Thursday huh? Well, today’s shot is here. As usual we have some really good poems below, so check them out and make sure to cast a vote for your favorite. If you want to leave feedback to the poets you can … Read more

“Homing In” and Plain “Honing”

Kristi Landis writes: When one wants to get more detail on something is it called “homes in” or “hones in”? Until I researched this question, I knew of only two uses of hone as a verb: the literal meaning of “to sharpen,” as on a whetstone (also known as a “hone”), and the figurative meaning … Read more

Who is Meant by “You”?

This is a guest post by David Bowman. If you want to write for Daily Writing Tips check the guidelines here. One of the expressions that grates on my nerves is “My sister is always there for you.” Another is “They are so nice to you.” And a third is “Chocolate makes you feel happy.” … Read more

“Access” and “access to”

The following excerpt is from an article on telephone fraud: The senior citizen, a man in his late 70s, is embarrassed and doesn’t want to talk about it. And, relatives are scrambling to make sure the crook doesn’t access to his bank account. When access is used as a verb, it does not require a … Read more

Word of the Day: Hermetic

Hermetic is an adjective, and it is used to described something made airtight by fusion or sealing. It can also be used more broadly to indicate anything isolated from external factors. The adverb is hermetically. Inside the somewhat hermetic Basque community here, which mixes at its own social club and at a handful of small … Read more