Spot the Errors, Dudes

I would argue that there are two errors in this Los Angeles Times piece about a documentary on cult followers of The Big Lebowski and the festivals they hold around the country. One is a spelling error that I am sure of, and the other is a missed reference to the film that I am … Continue reading

Placement Matters

Poor sentence construction can confuse or, worse, mislead your reader. This happens often in cause-and-effect statements, where sloppy ordering of multiple effects can blur or change your meaning. MISLEADING: City Council passed the measure, which led to the removal of graffiti and safer streets. [Why are we removing safer streets?] ON THE MONEY: City Council … Continue reading

Take It Easy

Trek is a common word that writers use when they’re tired of using trip or journey. But trek isn’t an exact synonym for those other words. According to Merriam-Webster, it was originally an Afrikaans words meaning to travel by ox wagon. The modern usage describes a slow or arduous journey. Think about it: did the … Continue reading

A Case of the Herky-jerkies

First drafts are often marred by repetitive, halting sentences. That’s why they’re first drafts. Give your work a close read to iron out redundancies and poor rhythm. For example: BUMPY: After applicants pass the exam, they can enroll in an Arizona State program, a pilot program established in Tucson called Tucson Achievers. SMOOTH: After applicants … Continue reading