This is a basic guide to writing well. Aspects of grammar and punctuation that commonly cause confusion are demystified in plain English.
You’ll find clear instructions on the correct use of possessive apostrophes, commas, speech marks, hyphens, and semicolons.
Other topics include the subjunctive, split infinitives, and the difference between ‘fewer’ and ‘less’. You can also learn more about active and passive sentences (active sentences will often make your writing clearer and more direct); commonly used foreign words and phrases; and word classes, including nouns, adjectives and verbs.
Other common conundrums dealt with here include:
• that or which?
• affect or effect?
• lay or lie?
• practice or practise?
• whose or who’s?
• my friends and I or my friends and me?
Why does correct punctuation and grammar matter? Well, look at the following:
A woman without her man is nothing.
With the correct punctuation all becomes clear:
A woman: without her, man is nothing.
Wordwatch includes an introduction to politically correct writing. This is not comprehensive but offers some sensible, no-nonsense advice for the careful writer.