Style Manuals vs. Dictionaries

Style Manuals vs. Dictionaries

While there are certainly some hard-and-fast grammar rules (verbs must agree in number with their subjects, for example), many of the guidelines that people regard as “rules” are, in fact, matters of style and not necessarily consistent from one style guide to...
Transitions: Improving Clarity and Logical Flow

Transitions: Improving Clarity and Logical Flow

Using transitions to improve clarity and logical flow is essential, whether we are meticulously drafting a legal brief or lengthy proposal or dashing off a short email or tweet.  In either case, transitions enable a reader to follow the writer’s train of thought as...
Parallel Structure

Parallel Structure

Whenever our writing includes a list, the items in that list need to be parallel with one another. That is, all of the items in a list must be the same, both logically and grammatically. Logically Parallel Lists First, the items in a list must be parallel in meaning....
Ellipses

Ellipses

An ellipsis consists of either three or four periods, or dots. A single dot is called an ellipsis point. The definition is pretty straightforward, but using ellipses can be tricky. Writers use ellipses for various reasons. An ellipsis can indicate the omission of...
Parallel Structure

Characters and Symbols Not on Keyboards

Our word processing software and enhanced keyboards can work magic, especially in regard to inserting characters and symbols that aren’t on our Roman alphabet keyboards. Lawyers and legal secretaries must type a section symbol in legal citations, whereas bankers...