How to Add Emphasis to Your Writing

Some people consider italics and boldface type — and quotation marks, when they’re used other than as dialogue markers — to be just so many noisy bells and whistles. They often are, when they’re misused, but when they’re employed correctly and strategically, they send strong signals. The following rules apply primarily for books and magazines. … Read more

Parenthetical Phrases

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you’re explaining something in writing — such as which punctuation marks to use to signal a break in thought — and you want to make it clear to your readers (many of whom may never have realized that there are distinctions to be made). How would you … Read more

Car-Wreck Compounds

You see them everyday, whenever you login to a Web site or rollover an ad: what should be open compounds suffering from the compositional equivalent of a roadway rear-ender. The error of writing everyday (an adjective meaning “ordinary”) when you mean “every day” (synonymous with “each day”) has already been covered in another post, but … Read more