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February 10, 2007


Rick Short

This is why you are required reading in my Marcom department.

Excellent!!! Thank you.

Keep it up.

Jack Norell

I constantly fight the tendency of my colleagues when it comes to general statements like this and other 'fluff'. Not always a popular standpoint as it's 'critique' but our materials are better for it. I'll point them to this post next time!

Andrew Galbraith

Great post -- thanks very much, Dan. I just caught myself making this exact mistake. I'm looking forward to uncovering further errors in my writing!

If possible, I'd love to see you take a stab at the definitive guide to comma use. After a fourth-grade teacher's harsh criticism of my rejection of any and all commas, I've tended to err on the side of excessive (and questionable) comma use. I'd be very grateful for more guidance in this area!

On a related note, you may be interested to read an article about Gertrude Stein's writings on grammar, in the February issue of The Walrus:


warren liebesman

"If that was true, the store would offer at least one of everything in the world (talk about a superstore), and I’m not even sure our pals at Wal-Mart could claim that."

I presume you meant "If that were true..."?

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Why "Word Wise"?

  • When I started to e-mail out a weekly writing tip to my Chicago colleagues at Edelman in 2002, little did I know how quickly how many people outside my office would start to request it. But word spread, as word is wont to do, and in 2006 the e-mail evolved into this blog. The tips, which are about grammar, usage and style, have a dual purpose – to remind my colleagues in PR of the power of the written word and, more generally, to support and perpetuate clear, concise, creative, honest, lively, stylish, compelling writing everywhere. In 2009 I started to add commentary about and links to stories and other blog posts related to the media, marketing, writing and, sometimes, just interesting stuff. For some reason, I also started Twittering (at SantowDan).