Common Writing Pitfalls #5 Things That Get in the Way
Common Writing Pitfalls #5 Things that get in the way
1. Put all your punctuation inside quotes. Always.
If you use quotes for emphasis instead of italics, the period or comma still has to go inside.
Example: I wanted him to “understand,” not just agree.
2. It’s personal preference whether you use italics or quotes to emphasize words or write titles.
I prefer italics because it gets rid of your punctuation inside the quotes problem.
Example: I wanted him to understand not just agree.
Example: I loved the movie “Iron Man,” did you? Vs. I loved the movie Iron Man, did you?
3. And that pesky lay verb. Best advice? Use another word but if you don’t, here’s a help I stole from Cec Murphey.
You can check out his Writer to Writer Blog Here.
Lay means to put, but lay it’s also the past tense of lie.
The only way I know to keep them straight is to memorize the rule.
I lie in bed (present)
I lay in bed (past tense).
I have lain in bed (past perfect).
I lay the box on the floor (present).
I laid the box on the floor (past).
I have laid the box on the floor.
4. Always, always, always run a spell-check and make sure it’s set to pick up grammar also. A box pops up when you hit spell-check that you can mark for grammar.
The EM dash replaces a lot of punctuation. Like the colon and semi-colon. And it’s fun to use J
Example: We agreed to meet later—at least I think we did.
To get the long dash, type your word then two dashes then your next word then space.
Example: laterdashdashatspace (later—at)
6. Use only one space after a period. When I learned to type, it was two. Times have changed and every editor I know accepts only one.
What gets in the way for you? Leave a comment and let us know!
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