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Read This…The Elements of Style

  Sometimes only a classic will do. When that time comes, get a copy of The Elements of Style. Concise Hack’s copy of The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White (yes, the E.B. White who wrote Stuart Little) is copyright 1972 and published by The MacMillan Company. According to the Introduction, Strunk had privately printed his (as described by White “little book”) The Elements of Style in 1919 for use in his classroom, of which White […]

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Read This…Woe Is I

Some grammar books are just too detailed and boring. That’s not the case with Woe Is I by Patricia T. O’Conner. Woe Is I, published by Riverhead Books/The Berkley Publishing Group, in 1996, is concise and succinct. Both of which we at Concise Hack love, but what we especially love is how EASY the information is to comprehend. O’Conner briefly describes the grammar concept then gives brief, but pertinent, examples. The glossary and index are thorough, helping make the material […]

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Read This…Anguished English

Concise Hack maybe too often takes a too serious approach to grammar. With this reading recommendation, we show our whimsical side. Our first “Read This…” suggestion is Anguished English by Richard Lederer. (Actually, we recommend any book authored by Richard Lederer.) Published in 1987 by Dell Publishing, this book is a hilarious look at misused words, incorrect punctuation, and misplaced modifiers. If this book doesn’t motivate you to improve your writing skills, absolutely nothing will.

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Good Proofreaders Are Made Not Born

Very few of us are good proofreaders. There are a couple of good reasons why we aren’t. Sometimes when our eyes see a mistake, our brain fills in the error with correct information. Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know. Maybe we think we understand the meaning of a word, or maybe the meaning of the word we used is close to what we mean but not exactly. Sometimes think we know something is correct, when it actually isn’t. […]

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It’s All About Audience: Write for Others; Journal for Yourself

Maybe you want to write or maybe you are required to write; either way, you must first understand who your audience is to determine how to approach the project. If you initiate the writing, you must determine your audience. Will your words be meant for you alone or is this project one you hope others will read and enjoy? If it’s for you alone, just bang away on your keyboard or splash cursive (or print) musings all over blank pages. […]

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Well Said Nina George

  “Habit is a vain and treacherous goddess. She lets nothing disrupt her rule. She smothers one desire after another: the desire to travel, the desire for a better job or a new love. She stops us from living as we would like, because habit prevents us from asking ourselves whether we continue to enjoy what we do.” Nina George    The Little Paris Bookshop, p 208    Penguin Random House LLC  2015

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Style Guides

  Many people are confused about the fundamentals of good writing for good reason. The reason is that the rules of grammar and punctuation sometime seem inconsistent. Luckily, we can determine whether some element of grammar or punctuation is correct. Well maybe not absolutely correct, but correct according to the rules outlined in a style guide. But, what’s a style guide? Style guides are resources, online or in print, that give direction for grammar, punctuation, formatting, word usage, and spelling […]

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“Find” & “Replace”

  “Find” & “Replace”, found in the Home tab at the top of a Word doc, are exactly what they sound like – and then some. These are terrific editing tools. Open a Word doc that you’ve been working. Click the Home tab. “Find” is located at the far right of the tab. Click it. The Navigation panel appears. Type a word or phrase into the “Find” Navigation panel, and Word will find that word throughout your document. Use “Replace” […]

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