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Think of the em dash as the traditional dash and the en dash as the hyphen. With our numerous punctuation marks, you would think that one dash is enough, but we have two little marks that are referred to as dashes, and if you are in the publishing business, there are four.  So here’s a… Read more »

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A person usually has good intentions when he or she suggests the right way or wrong way to do something in writing, but if you ask the person why that is the accepted way, you often hear, it just sounds better or that’s the way I was taught, or the more candid I don’t really know…. Read more »

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If you want someone to comply with your request, try using flattery to persuade.   Flattery, compliments and exaggerated tributes, are among numerous ingratiation tactics that people use to induce someone to perform a particular behavior. Flattery brightens a person’s mood Psychologists Anthony Pratkanis, Craig Abbott, and their team approached two categories of people in… Read more »

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If you want to hold an audience’s attention, paragraph unity and length are important to readability. Many writers write until the text appears to be getting long, then put in a period and hit enter. But a paragraph is not a randomly created chunk of black print. It’s a sequence of related thoughts that explore a topic…. Read more »

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English has many troublesome pairs that often perplex writers, because many words in English are similar to others but are not synonyms. Here are some “twins” that often leave a writer wondering which one is appropriate and why. i.e. and e.g. — Using these two-letter abbreviations might be convenient, but many people don’t know what either… Read more »

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