Insurance in Plain English

Reaching the next generation of insurance consumers

Archive for March 2010

National Grammar Day

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Yes, believe it or not, there is an actual holiday dedicated to grammarians everywhere: March 4, National Grammar Day. Heavily promoted my the Grammar Girl, it is a day of reflection and celebration, a day to learn more and to share your knowledge.

While numerous folks around the Web are celebrating in their own special ways, I’ve opted to recognize NGD via confession, to my greatest grammar sins and/or hangups.

  1. Splitting infinitives. I always seem to think it sounds better that way.
  2. Hating on the ampersand. For no apparent reason. I see them, and my red pen will explode all over the page.
  3. Not sticking to my allotted exclamation points. I was once told I could only use a three a year.

Hopefully, this NGD will be a painful reminder to me to focus on these areas and attack them with gusto.

Written by melissa

March 4, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Posted in Writing

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On writing a beginning

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I’ve been thinking for quite a while how exactly to launch this blog. Blogging is something that I inherently know I should do, and that I want to do. But it’s the actual act of doing it that’s escaped me.

So I’ll take a cue from the famous fiction authors who were was recently featured in The Guardian in a series called “Ten Rules for Fiction Writing,” asking, as you might expect, each author’s rules for being a successful writer. I thought this might be prudent to consider in my latest (and by latest, I mean approximately tenth attempt) at becoming a consistent and effective blogger.

Irish novelist Colm Toibin is straightforward:
  • Finish everything you start.
  • Get on with it.
Getting on with it seems to have been my main problem with blogging. I kept telling myself, “I’ll write a blog post when XYZ …” But X, Y or Z never seemed to occur.

Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin gives tips that are brief, but important:
  • Read lots.
  • Write lots.
  • Don’t give up.
  • Get lucky.
  • Stay lucky.
Advice from Pulitzer prize winning American novelist Ricard Ford was more … practical:
  • Marry somebody you love and who thinks you being a writer’s a good idea.
  • Don’t have children.
  • Don’t take any shit if you can ­possibly help it.
In the end, however, I think I’ll take my cue from English author P.D. James:
  • Don’t just plan to write – write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.
So here I go, no longer just planning to write (as evidenced by the nagging Post-It note sitting on my desk for days now), but actually writing. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Written by melissa

March 4, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Posted in Writing

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