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Remedial English Friday

April 10, 2009


I’ve gotten some requests for help with blog-editing from far and wide. Apparently, a lot of people would like their own blogs but are “not very good at the writing part”.

I am not an English major, so I think the only reason I’ve been tapped for this particular task is that many of my readers know English is only my second language and are therefore impressed at my ability to thrive under such a handicap ;-). For that same reason, they probably think I’m more approachable than, say, a snooty old English professor.

That said, the only practical advice I can give is: 

  • Read copiously, voraciously, and constantly
  • Memorize Elements of Style by Strunk & White (yes, the entire book- it’s a very slim volume)

Almost everyone knows not to rely on Spellcheck as it doesn’t check for correct usage and so you end up with: “Witch restaurant for lunch? See ewe then!”. The Strunk & White book will go a long way towards bridging that gap. So between the two tools, you should be able to transform yourself into a newly minted intelligible member of the blogosphere.

To be honest, I read a lot on the internets and I generally don’t bother with blogs that have too many misspelled words or grammatical errors. I figure, if they can’t properly articulate what they mean, who’s to say I’m correctly understanding them at all?

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