by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
In web writing, it’s best to keep your sentences simple. Even though you may be speaking to an adult audience, web readers like to skim and be done with it. Simple wording makes your work more attractive and easier to scan.
Shorten longer and run-on sentences.
On the web, statements should be less than ten words. The shorter, the better. In the following example, the sentence is too long: “Angela took a stroll down the winding pathway that was located in City Park in the city of Denver.” Instead, you could say: “Angela walked the curved path in Denver City Park.”
Avoid words that can be used more than one way.
According to the Yahoo Style Guide (pg 329), words like “once” and “before” can be confusing. They can be used in two or more ways. Instead of saying “Once you add the eggs to the recipe mixture, stir the ingredients slowly before moving on” you could say “Add the eggs to the mixture. Then, stir slowly for five minutes. Move on to the next step.”
Avoid long-winded words.
While the word “pathway” is a simple word, “path” is better for the web. People usually find things on the web via search. More people will search for a word like path versus pathway. Also, path is easiest to read of the two. Always choose the easiest word for what you need to say. That way, even people who have a harder time reading will be able to understand you more clearly.
Use simple words.
Try not to use long words or those that are harder to say (or read). Instead of using the word difficult, you can use hard. This may sound like you’re “dumbing down” your work. Really, you’re just making sure people see it and stick with it until the end. Web readers scan fast and they also leave fast. Your job is to make sure they find what you write and stay with it as long as they can.
Text and Photo by Lyn Lomasi; © 2014 All rights reserved
*I originally published this on another site (no longer published there).
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E Media Staff
Today’s grammar f*ck-up is priceless. “I really could careless” was seen in a meme with a longer message. Really? There’s always someone around f*cking up grammar. It’s not always a big deal. We’re not all grammarians and I mess up on occasion as well. But when I see it in books, on business websites, in schools, or in other places where more attention should be given to proper English, I cringe.
This one wasn't in a place like mentioned above. But just in case someone else happens to f*ck up in the same way (in a place where it might matter more), here's how to fix it. Where I saw “I really could careless,” the complete message itself would have been a good one, had the person taken care to actually word it so that it made sense. But, just about everything is wrong with this particular phrase.
First of all, saying you COULD care less implies that you do care, not that you don’t. Could and couldn’t mean exactly the opposite of each other. What the person was trying to get across is that they don’t care at all and it’s impossible to care less. Therefore, the correct wording should have been “I really couldn’t care less.”
This brings us to the second point. It’s not careless. It’s care less. There is a big difference. This sentence makes sense (though is not giving out the intended message): “I really could be careless.” This sentence makes sense (though again implies a message different than intended): “I really could care less.” The original wording does not make sense. Careless is not a verb. It’s an adjective. There should be a verb in there to take some action, such as caring about something. The verb is care – by itself. How much do you care? You care less. Therefore, the correct wording is “care less,” not “careless.”
While the meanings of care less and careless are similar, they are not the same grammatically and cannot be used in place of each other. Could and could not are the exact opposites of each other. So there you have the grammar f*ck-up the day, people. It’s "I really couldn’t care less," not "I really could careless."
Even my simple grammar checker highlighted that sentence when I typed it in a document, by the way. Always check your work yourself and with tools before you put it somewhere for all to see. It will save you the embarrassment later. You’re welcome.
Image: memecreator.org and Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this on BUBBLEWS (no longer published there)
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
The English language is a diverse one with so many words to choose from. So, why of all these words do I choose a word such as f**k as my favorite word? I'm a writer. Shouldn't I know more words or choose something more creative?
You tell me what word is more creative than f**k. I dare you. What other word can you stick anywhere and have it fit in perfectly? It colors any sentence, adds more meaning wherever it is placed, and honestly, it's simply fun to use.
Pick any other word and try to fill it in where I've filled in f**k (or f**king) in the following sentences and I can guarantee you it will sound extremely awkward, unlike my f**k word, which sounds perfectly normal anywhere.
I f**ing love posting my f**king writing on this f**king site. It's the most f**ing awesome f**ing thing since f**ing sliced bread.
Now try to place any other so-called creative word there in place of f**ing and see just how colorful it becomes. Not so colorful anymore,is it?
Yes, I am a writer who creatively chooses f**k as my favorite word and is darn proud of it.
Besides, as Harry Widdifield says, cursing is one of our given rights. It's just language, which we have the right to use.
I dare you to show me a more creative and colorful word in the English language.
But that's not ladylike! Hmmm...
Do you share my favorite word? Do you think my creative word is not so creative? Tell us in the comment section.
Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this on BUBBLEWS (no longer published there)
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