Category Archives: Writing tips

Here’s how to improve your writing in the new year

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A screenshot of a message from Stylebot on Slack that reads:Use "New Year's," "New Year's Day," "New Year's Eve" and "happy New Year" when referring to the holiday. Lowercase general references: "He was looking forward to a fresh start in the new year." Also lowercase "resolutions" in "New Year's resolutions.""
A screenshot of a message from Stylebot on Slack that reads: "For an American audience, use "soccer" to refer to the game instead of "football," except in quotation marks or proper nouns: "The U.S. soccer team arrived in Qatar for the World Cup." Fun fact: The word "soccer" comes from shortening the term "association football" to "assoccer.""

How “football” became “soccer”

A screenshot of a message from Stylebot on Slack that reads: "You can use the acronym "RSVP" (no periods) for all references to the commonly used reply request: "The wedding invites asked guests to RSVP by January 30." Though you don't need to include it in your copy, if you care to know, "RSVP" is short for the French phrase répondez s'il vous plaît."

The “please” is more than implied

Screenshot of a message from Stylebot on Slack that reads: Dangling modifiers are a common mistake in both writing and speaking. If you've ever watched an NFL game, you've likely heard one: "After reviewing the play, the ruling on the field stands." That is incorrect because "the ruling" did not review the play. The correct construction is: "After reviewing the play, the officials have determined that the ruling on the field stands." (Clunky, perhaps, but correct!)

Who’s refereeing dangling modifiers during football season? 🏈

Screenshot of a message from Stylebot on Slack that reads: Including time zones in your copy is good practice unless you are writing for a local audience that's not likely to be confused: "The show will premiere at 7 p.m. ET." You can use two or three letters for U.S. time zones: "The debate was over by 8:30 p.m. PDT, so she was able to watch it and still get to bed on time." If you're using three letters, be sure to use the correct middle letter. It's a "D" during daylight saving time, which starts in March and ends in November, and it's an "S" the rest of the year.

Time to save the day(light)

A screenshot of a message from Stylebot on Slack that reads: "Do's and don'ts" is a tricky phrase to punctuate, but follow the format you see at the beginning of this sentence even though the apostrophe use is inconsistent

How to write do’s and don’ts