When to not use a semi-colon

Ah, the semi-colon. It’s such a beautiful punctuation mark; it can add something exquisite to a sentence. Unfortunately, it is also frequently misused. And I don’t know about you, but any time I see a semi-colon used incorrectly, I cringe and want to bring out a gigantic red pen. The place where I have recently…

Five Tips for Writing a Novel

I’ve been working on my novel a lot the past month or so and in that time I went from about 15,000 words to 30,000. A novel is generally between about 50,000 and 90,000 words, so I still have at least 20,000 more to go! It can be tough to work on a novel consistently,…

Random Rare Word: Orthoepy

This word is fantastic for a rhetoric blog. From the Canadian OED: Or • tho • epy noun The scientific study of the correct pronunciation of words. See also orthoepic (adjective) and orthoepist (noun), from the Greek orthoepeia, meaning correct speech.

In the Media: writing tips

One of the women I work with recently sent out a few articles, and now I’m completely hooked on Ragan.com. Here are some neat tips you might find useful for your own writing: – 5 ways to write an e-newsletter people will read – Keep yourself covered with these 8 proofreading tips – Who vs….

Forms of Rhetoric: Handwriting Analysis

When I was younger, I received a book as a gift entitled The Handwriting Analyst’s Toolkit: character and personality revealed through graphology. This book is fantastic in that it has beautiful pictures and it examines just about every part of handwriting imaginable, deciphering your personality and mood at the time of writing based on how…

The Practical Guide: More than vs. Over

More than vs. over: when should we use each of them? I didn’t realize there was a difference in this until earlier this year when my editor explained it to me. Editorially, there are certain times when we should use each of these terms. The Canadian Press guide states: More than is followed by a…

Random Rare Word: Litotes

I was cruising through the dictionary when I came across this word. I like it! Hadn’t ever heard it before and wanted to share. Li-to-tes (noun) Ironic understatement, esp. the expressing of an affirmative by the negative of its contrary, e.g. no mean feat for some great accomplishment. [Late Latin from Greek litotes from litos…

Forms of Rhetoric: Accents and Judgment

Growing up, the mother dear, sistertraveller and I used to always tease the father dear because he didn’t “properly” pronounce the word “tiger.” Whereas the three of us pronounced it “ty” (as in the word “tie”), he pronounced it “tay” (as in the word “take”). We’d go into fits of giggles whenever he said the…

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