The Elephants of Style : A Trunkload of Tips on the Big by Bill Walsh

By Bill Walsh

suggestion on strong writing from everybody's favourite editorial curmudgeon

Persnickety, cantankerous, opinionated, unique, hilarious, wise...these are many of the adjectives reviewers used to explain good-writing maven invoice Walsh's earlier booklet, Lapsing right into a Comma. Now, settling on up the place he left off in Lapsing, Walsh addresses the dozen or so greatest matters that each author or editor needs to grasp. He additionally deals a trunkload of excellent recommendation at the many little issues that upload as much as sturdy writing. that includes all of the components that made Lapsing such a enjoyable learn, together with Walsh's trademark acerbic wit and engaging digressions on language and its discontents, The Elephants of favor provides:
• the way to tame the "elephants of style"--the most vital, usually stressed parts of fine writing • extra of Walsh's renowned "Curmudgeon's Stylebook"--includes entries reminiscent of Snarky Specificity, Metaphors, close to and much, truly is the hot Like, and different makes use of and misuses of language • professional suggestion for writers and editors on the best way to interact for most sensible effects

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Extra info for The Elephants of Style : A Trunkload of Tips on the Big Issues and Gray Areas of Contemporary American English

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Com. com). Punctuation is not decoration. This is a multifaceted issue, and although I remain a purist, I will admit that it presents some difficult decisions on where we, as editors, should draw the line. In referring to the Macy’s logo I write macy*s with an asterisk. It’s actually a five-sided star, the good ol’ American kind, but that’s not a standard print character, and many if not most newspapers would run into a problem reproducing such a thing. So even if the grown-up spelling of Macy’s hadn’t been grandfathered in before the lowercase generation was born, editors would have to decide whether to use the asterisk in place of the star or to treat the star as the stylized What ’s Up?

So CSX is CSX, but the snappy little ARCOs and PEPCOs are initial-capped, even if they are each-letter-stands-for-something acronyms. —so what do those O’s stand for? Logos don’t even necessarily represent what a company wants to be called. Look at Macy’s, or should I say macy*s? (You’ll be doing a lot of looking at Macy’s during my little essay, unless by some miracle on 34th Street I send you to Gimbels. ) Heck, look all around you. You might be hardpressed to find a consumer product or showbiz title whose packaging or publicity doesn’t take liberties with the rules of capitalization.

One other thing: Terms known primarily by their initials in spoken English often get mistranslated when people try to spell them out in writing. ATMs are automated (not automatic) teller machines, HMOs are health-maintenance (not management) organizations, and the DEA is the Drug Enforcement Administration (not Agency). To The or Not to The? True acronyms for organizations and the like get no the. It’s the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but NATO is simply NATO. Initialisms generally get the if their spelled-out coun- 50 The Elephants of St yle terparts do.

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