I didn't learn the difference between the hyphen (-) and the dash (--) until I was working as a professional copyeditor. This was after four years of majoring in English as an undergrad, not to mention a masters degree! So I'll preface this by noting that an engineer who knows the difference between these two marks of… Continue reading Punctuation and the Technical Writer, Part 3: Hyphen/Dash
I sometimes think of the semi-colon as a "soft period." You use it when a period would work grammatically, but it would draw too much of a barrier of meaning between the two clauses you're working with, and a colon would draw too SPECIFIC of a connection (because, as the colon post explained, a colon means… Continue reading Punctuation and the Technical Writer, Part 2: The Semicolon
This blog post appears by popular request! If my exclamation point didn't alert you already, I am extremely excited to have been asked to blog about punctuation! Remember, I'll blog about anything writing-related on which you'd like or need clarification. Anything. Not to get too meta, but note how punctuation in that previous paragraph conveys both tone… Continue reading Punctuation and the Technical Writer, Part 1: Your Colon Questions Answered!
Read! You don't have to do anything; if you read a lot, the English language gets into your brain by osmosis. I'm living proof. I never learned grammar in school. There are so many bonuses that come from reading more, aside from it making you a better writer. It's fun; it gives you something interesting to… Continue reading The Easiest, Funnest Way to Become a Better Writer
A Google search has just taught me that it's very common to hate meetings there is plenty of advice, from sources ranging from anonymous bloggers to Ivanka Trump, on how to make them better. Some of this advice falls into the category of "make meetings fun!" I do wonder if some of these tactics could increase one of… Continue reading On the Misery of Meetings
I went to a conference about Early American Literature at the University of Tulsa, but I ended up meeting two aerospace engineers who, when they learned what I teach, had lots of advice for my students. One, a man in his early twenties, had begun living in the U.S. as an international student, with English… Continue reading Advice from Real Engineers
I've gone down a rabbit hole of math professors' websites. This math professor has a whole section On Writing on his website. A couple of my favorites from the section: his excellent idea for "rapid prototyping" method applied to writing papers (not exactly sure what this means but I like it). This seems particularly valuable for those of… Continue reading Math professors on writing