Consistency Counts

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. –Oscar Wilde

Mr. Wilde himself was a writer, so I strenuously doubt that he was speaking of consistency in writing. But even if he was, he’s dead and can’t argue with me. The fact is, consistency in writing is key to making your written materials neat and elegant, and to getting your point across without distracting your reader . Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Exclamation Points!!!

Hey, look at me! Look at me!

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an exclamation point is “a mark ! used especially after an interjection or exclamation to indicate forceful utterance or strong feeling.” The Random House Unabridged Dictionary says it this way: an exclamation point is used to indicate intensity of emotion, loudness or even “a speaker’s dumbfounded astonishment.” In the typesetting/printing world, this punctuation mark is appropriately known as a screamer or a bang…sometimes even a gasper or a startler. Continue reading

There, Their, They’re…It’s Not That Hard

It really isn't.

Few homophones cause as much confusion and chaos as there, their and they’re. The problem, of course, is that our brains are so stuffed with vital information–Olympic curling team stats, disco song lyrics, ways to get cranberry juice stains out of deep pile carpet–how are we supposed to keep such trivial garbage straight? Continue reading

‘Tis the Season to Send Out Annoying Holiday Greetings


Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of Americans like the prospect of writing Christmas greetings. I should know–as the family wordsmith, it falls to me each year to crank out a two-page missive that’s engaging, informative and treads that fine line between connecting with friends and family–and smarmy bragging. Continue reading