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The airing of the links

Originally I’d intended to write posts about each of these links separately, but my notebook is starting to fill with great blog posts to share. So instead I’m just posting this list of some of the better communication-related articles I’ve found recently:

Web roundup: AP style, writer’s resources, word processors, and hyphens

Here’s another review of some writing-related links.

  • The 2007 Associated Press Stylebook: This year the AP released its first update to its stylebook since 2004. With the constant influx of technology terms into our lexicon, the new AP Stylebook is a must for writers and editors. While it’s been a while since I was a newspaper reporter and a lot of my clients don’t use AP style, it is a good reference nevertheless.
  • Internet Resources: Writing links & writers links for writers: This page lists more than 200 online writing-related resources. (I’m all for search engine optimization, but this page’s title, however, is a little ridiculous. I’m sure most of those writing resources would advise against such a title.) (Via Lifehacker)
  • Word Processor Review: A lot of people are hemmed into their choice of word processor—it has to be Microsoft Word. If your fortunate enough not to be one of them, this site lists other options. Unfortunately as all of my clients use Word, I have no choice but to do so as well. Given my druthers, however, I’d give Apple’s Pages (part of it’s iWork suite) a shot.
  • Copy-Editing Corner: A hyphen too many per diem: Mike Billings weighs in on when—and when not—to use a hyphen.

Check out these writing, editing, and communications blogs

I’ve made a few tweaks to this site of late, one of which was redoing the links section in the sidebar. Instead of linking to reference material, I’ve added links to some great communications-related blogs. So check them out and if you like one of the sites, please let that webmaster know how you found his or her blog.

Here are the links that I added today (some of them I have mentioned in previous posts):

Also, if you have, or know of, a good website that covers writing, editing, grammar, communications, publishing, or any other subject in which this blog’s audience might be interested, please send me an e-mail and I will add it to the list.

The death of dictionaries, the order of adjectives, and writing for the web

I’ve been swamped with work of late, which is usually a good thing except as it affects my blogging. So I’m going to delegate:

  • Maud Newton: No dictionaries for a text-messaging world?—My Apple iBook has an electronic dictionary and spell check loaded on it. And everyone with Internet access can use dictionary.com. So, there’s not much use for a hard-copy dictionary (I haven’t touched mine in years).
  • Christian Science Monitor Blog: Rules no one teaches but everyone learns—This article covers the correct order for adjectives in a series. I never gave much thought to this issue, but upon reading the article realized why: having spoken English all of my life, I’m able to do it correctly without thinking about it. Most people I edit put their adjectives in the right order too; I rarely encounter mistakes in that area.
  • useit.com: How users read on the web—People have a different approach to reading websites than reading other media. Writers and editors need to remember that fact when working on material for the Internet.

Grammar Girl popular, copy editor angry, and clichés bad

Here’s a roundup of some grammar-related links.

  • Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing—Possibly the most amazing story I’ve encountered: An editor named Mignon Fogarty created a podcast about grammar and, as CNN describes in ‘Grammar Girl’ a quick and dirty success, it’s one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes. Who knew the masses wanted to learn about semicolons? (Obviously, I wish I had that foresight.) I’m curious as to how Fogarty promoted her podcast though; if she tires of editing, she probably could have a career in marketing. (Via Digg.)
  • City Paper Copy Editor Angry, Angry, Angry—DCist details a disgruntled copy editor’s diatribe directed at his superiors’ demand that he use a serial comma (the comma before “and” in a list of three or more items). I disagree with Andrew Beaujon and the Associated Press about not using the serial comma. Punctuation’s purpose is to clarify. The serial comma does just that.
  • Cliché Finder—I do agree with the Associated Press, however, about clichés; they stink worse than Limburger. To look for clichés in your writing, cut and paste your text into this website and it will highlight phrases that the Associated Press deems hackneyed. (Via Lifehacker.)

Don’t read this post if you want to be a lousy writer

Here are two blog posts with good writing pointers:

  • 37 Signals: Buzzwords say all the wrong things— Matt Linderman lists four good reasons why writers should eschew buzzwords and keep their text simple.
  • Copyblogger: Copywriting 101—Brian Clark’s article is geared towards writing for marketing, but isn’t everyone who writes trying to hawk something, be it a product, idea, or him or herself? This blog entry has 10 tips for writing great copy. Read it or the kitty gets it.

Freelancing, Word styles, Bill Clinton, and Russia: Articles worth reading

Here are some good reads on an assortment of topics:

  • Freelancing tips from an illustrator. It’s obvious that Megan Jeffrey has 17 years of experience freelancing; there’s not a single suggestion with which I’d disagree (link via Lifehacker).
  • Macworld: Save time with Word’s styles. One of the biggest ways to make publishing a document more efficient is to get everyone in an organization using Word’s styles. It makes an editor’s job easier, as he or she won’t have to waste time reformatting a document and instead can focus on improving the text.
  • The New Yorker: “The Wanderer”—The ex-presidency of Bill Clinton. This article in the September 18, 2006 issue isn’t available online, but it’s worth picking up at the newsstand. David Remnick’s profile of President Clinton is fascinating and examines his work fighting HIV/AIDS.
  • The Economist: Russian health and demography—A sickness of the soul. It’s hard to think of a country that put the first man in space as having problems usually reserved for developing nations in Africa and Asia, but that’s what former superpower Russia is facing.

The pros and cons of freelancing and what’s needed to transition from corporate life

Lifehacker, a productivity blog that I’ve linked to in other entries, had a good post the other day about working for yourself: Technophilia: From cubicle to couch.

For someone who’s just transitioning from working for a company to freelancing, the author has some good insight into preparing to work for yourself (hoard cash), the advantages of freelancing (flexibility), and the disadvantages (work is never done).

And while I’m pitching other blogs…

The Private Sector Development Blog is a collaborative site by members of the World Bank Group. The site features the opinions of subject matter experts about many development-related issues.

And kudos to the World Bank for hosting a site where some of its employees can voice their own opinions (and, I assume, post on work time). Blogs like this one are a great way to create a dialogue and get input from the diverse groups working in a particular field.

Too often business websites are static, never giving readers a reason to return. Not so with a blog.

Now, if only they’d add a hyphen to that compound modifier in the title…

But who edits copy editors?

I’ve recently encountered a few good blogs by professional newspaper copyeditors that have useful posts about style, punctuation, and word choice (even if they don’t use serial commas):

  • A Capital Idea—A copy-editing blog covering grammar and newspapers like they’re going out of style
  • Blogslot—The blog accompaniment to The Slot: A Spot for Copy Editors
  • You Don’t Say: Language and Usage—A blog by John McIntyre, The Baltimore Sun‘s assistant managing editor for the copy desk

Copyeditors (at least these three) have interesting perspectives about language and current events (such as word choice and campaign slogans). Also, it’s interesting getting the perspective of editors whose work is directed predominantly by The Associated Press Stylebook, as opposed to The Chicago Manual of Style that I use most of the time.