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March 07, 2008



All very nice, but to be quite frank I only see the use of bulleted lists in recipes, technical action plans and presentations.

When I'm reading a text or publication I always see it as a kind of verbal poverty if the author has to resort to bulleted lists.

Apart from that I studied some communication science as a part of another education once, and the professor instilled the thought in me that the rules don't actually matter. What matters is getting noticed, read and agreed with.

Having said that, I'm quite sure that many people don't care if bulleted lists will end in semi-colons. Moreover for powerpoint presentations and billboards, I would argue that the semi-colons and ",and"-thing will only distract people.


Another excellent reason why the AP Stylebook is a lacking resource for PR professionals. Bulleted lists aren't very useful or relevant to journalists and newspapers, but they are very much so for PR and business communication professionals. This is why I increasingly believe PR needs to create its own stylebook and stop relying on the AP Stylebook as the end-all, be-all style resource.

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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).