Ellipsis, the John Wayne of Punctuation

It’s a classic element of any old western movie, the main character riding off into the sunset. In many ways it is the perfect ending; it gives the viewer a sense of closure while implying that the story continues. In your writing you can use an ellipsis to make your...

English/Metric Units

What do the United States, Liberia, and Myanmar have in common? Not much, but we are the only countries in the world that don’t use the metric system. Regardless of your opinion in the metric/English debate, we often find ourselves using both standards on a daily...

Making a List, Checking it Twice

When you make a trip to the grocery store, do you write an essay about what you want to buy? Hopefully not, because most sane people make a list. Lists make dense information easy to understand at a glance. Instead of searching through wordy sentence after wordy...

Repossessing the Possessive

Excessive apostrophe use is one of the most frequent conditions affecting writers today. How would you like it if a dash were to float above your head, looming over you all day long? Well your numbers and letters don’t like it either. In fact the Chicago Manual of...

The Three Cs in Technical Writing

Clarity—Clarity means saying what you have to say in an organized fashion. Many writers who have something to say and who arrange their information in a logical manner still have difficulty making their writing clear to the reader. To be clear, sentences must have...