Archive | September 2012

Issues of Style

3rd shelf, left bookcase, writing resources

3rd shelf, left bookcase, writing resources (Photo credit: Yvesanemone)

Grammar and punctuation rules aren’t the only things to consider when writing or editing copy. Style issues also play a major role. Unfortunately, many business and organizations don’t take the time to determine what their editing style will be for their written materials. This can lead to inconsistencies in published works (both print and electronic) that can give readers an impression of unprofessionalism. When creating written materials consistency in style not only gives continuity to products, it shows an attention to detail and gives an overall professional look.

While most my clients adhere to one of the style guides listed below, they usually deviate from these written guides in one area or another. For example, some religious organizations I work with follow the Chicago Style Manual on most issues, but follow their own guidelines when it comes to capitalizations of certain terms and the use of numerals in text. This type of deviation is perfectly acceptable and expected.

You may also choose to create your own “style” for your written communications. Just remember, the key to maintaining an editorial style is consistency. Keep track of the rules that differ from your chosen style guide so that writers and editors know what they are.

Here are just a few of the styles guides available: Read More…

Misused Words

GRAMMAR POLICE ALERT

For many people automatic spell-checkers are a godsend. They catch spelling mistakes and even some errors of grammar, but sadly they don’t catch everything. When it comes to errors in word usage, spell-checkers are often of little help. The English language is full of word pairs that have different but related meanings that are often confused. Spell-checkers also do not catch misused homonyms (words that have the same pronunciation but different spellings, because these words are technically spelled correctly. Here are few of the most common usage errors made by writers. Read More…

Business Ethics

wrong way / right way

wrong way / right way (Photo credit: undergroundbastard)

I’ve been researching a piece on how to run a private investigation agency. That’s one of the things I really like about being a freelancer. I get to work on some very interesting and diverse projects.

In researching the basic practices of running such a business, I discovered that business ethics play an important role in being a private investigator. It occurred to me as I read manuals, websites, and how to books about this particular job, that good ethical practices aren’t just for private investigators they are for all types of businesses. While some entrepreneurs try to get ahead by cutting moral corners, ethical business behavior is still the foundation needed for building a solid business that will stand the test of time. But what is ethical behavior? Read More…