How to not write bad - Ben Yagoda 2013

How to not write bad - Ben Yagoda 2013


How to not write bad: the one-word version

How to not write wrong

The elements of house style - Numbers and abbreviations



There is no reason ever to use boldface in a piece of writing, except for a section heading (like this)

Punctuation - Plurality’s Pluralities


This should not be necessary, but ...

An incredibly geeky point

The Oxford Comma

Words - The single most common mistake is the most easily fixable mistake


Wrong word

Grammar - Sanitized


Still wrong

How to not write bad

Punctuation - Quotation marks

Exclamation points, dashes, semicolons, colons, parentheses, italics, and rhetorical questions…

Words and phrases - Really quick fix: avoid these words!

Lengthy is desirable short is good (I)

Precision: words that are a bit off

Avoid clichés like the plague

Euphemism, buzzwords, and jargon

Sentences - Word rep

Start strong

End strong

Lengthy is desirable short is good (II)

The perils of ambiguity

What is the what? Or, the trouble with vague pronouns

When you catch a preposition, kill it

To Use to Be or Not to Use to Be

What the meaning of “Is is” is


Sentence to Sentence, Paragraph to Paragraph

Author’s note