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        Does punctuation really matter?

The fuss generated by Lynne Truss’s book, “Eats Shoots & Leaves: the zero tolerance approach to punctuation,” has brought this topic into focus. From the way everyone was talking when the book came out, you’d think punctuation was a whole new, previously unappreciated art form that could light up all our lives.

In the cold light of the business day, though, punctuation is not much more than a set of tools we use to fine tune our writing -– nothing more romantic than that.

You’ve probably noticed that it tends to split into two separate categories:

1. Punctuation that affects the meaning of what you write (so it’s worth getting right)

2. Punctuation that doesn’t really affect the meaning of what you write (but irritates some people if you get it wrong)

Beyond that, also there are variations in punctuation rules from one English language culture to the next. Most of those, I would say, fall into category #2.

So let’s take a look at the topic from the non-literary, business-only viewpoint. Please note these are my opinions only and I’m no English graduate – only a realist - so feel free to disagree!

Read on ...


Pivotal Writing

Commonly Overused Words


When you write, use the most precise word for your meaning, not the word that comes to mind first. Consult this thesaurus to find alternatives for some commonly overused words. Consult a full-length thesaurus to find alternatives to words that do not appear here. Keep in mind that the choices offered in a thesaurus do not all mean exactly the same thing. Review all the options, and choose the one that best expresses your meaning.

about approximately, nearly, almost, approaching, close to
absolutely unconditionally, perfectly, completely, ideally, purely
activity action, movement, operation, labor, exertion, enterprise, project, pursuit, endeavor, job, assignment, pastime, scheme, task
add attach, affix, join, unite, append, increase, amplify
affect adjust, influence, transform, moderate, incline, motivate, prompt
amazing overwhelming, astonishing, startling, unexpected, stunning, dazzling, remarkable
awesome impressive, stupendous, fabulous, astonishing, outstanding
bad defective, inadequate, poor, unsatisfactory, disagreeable, offensive, repulsive, corrupt, wicked, naughty, harmful, injurious, unfavorable
basic essential, necessary, indispensable, vital, fundamental, elementary
beautiful attractive, appealing, alluring, exquisite, gorgeous, handsome, stunning
begin commence, found, initiate, introduce, launch, originate
better preferable, superior, worthier
big enormous, extensive, huge, immense, massive
boring commonplace, monotonous, tedious, tiresome
bring accompany, cause, convey, create, conduct, deliver, produce
cause origin, stimulus, inspiration, motive
certain unquestionable, incontrovertible, unmistakable, indubitable, assured, confident
change alter, transform, vary, replace, diversify
choose select, elect, nominate, prefer, identify
decent respectable, adequate, fair, suitable
definitely unquestionably, clearly, precisely, positively, inescapably
easy effortless, natural, comfortable, undemanding, pleasant, relaxed
effective powerful, successful
emphasize underscore, feature, accentuate
end limit, boundary, finish, conclusion, finale, resolution
energy vitality, vigor, force, dynamism
enjoy savor, relish, revel, benefit
entire complete, inclusive, unbroken, integral
excellent superior, remarkable, splendid, unsurpassed, superb, magnificent
exciting thrilling, stirring, rousing, dramatic
far distant, remote
fast swift, quick, fleet, hasty, instant, accelerated
fill occupy, suffuse, pervade, saturate, inflate, stock
finish complete, conclude, cease, achieve, exhaust, deplete, consume
funny comical, ludicrous, amusing, droll, entertaining, bizarre, unusual, uncommon
get obtain, receive, acquire, procure, achieve
give bestow, donate, supply, deliver, distribute, impart
go proceed, progress, advance, move

Article Source: PHSchool

good satisfactory, serviceable, functional, competent, virtuous, striking
great tremendous, superior, remarkable, eminent, proficient, expert
happy pleased, joyous, elated, jubilant, cheerful, delighted
hard arduous, formidable, complex, complicated, rigorous, harsh
help assist, aid, support, sustain, serve
hurt injure, harm, damage, wound, impair
important significant, substantial, weighty, meaningful, critical, vital, notable
interesting absorbing, appealing, entertaining, fascinating, thought-provoking
job task, work, business, undertaking, occupation, vocation, chore, duty, assignment
keep retain, control, possess
kind type, variety, sort, form
know comprehend, understand, realize, perceive, discern
like (adj) similar, equivalent, parallel
like (verb) enjoy, relish, appreciate
main primary, foremost, dominant
make build, construct, produce, assemble, fashion, manufacture
mean plan, intend, suggest, propose, indicate
more supplementary, additional, replenishment
new recent, modern, current, novel
next subsequently, thereafter, successively
nice pleasant, satisfying, gracious, charming
old aged, mature, experienced, used, worn, former, previous
open unobstructed, accessible
part section, portion, segment, detail, element, component
perfect flawless, faultless, ideal, consummate
plan scheme, design, system, plot
pleasant agreeable, gratifying, refreshing, welcome
prove demonstrate, confirm, validate, verify, corroborate
quick brisk, prompt, responsive, rapid, nimble, hasty
really truly, genuinely, extremely, undeniably
regular standard, routine, customary, habitual
see regard, behold, witness, gaze, realize, notice
small diminutive, miniature, minor, insignificant, slight, trivial
sometimes occasionally, intermittently, sporadically, periodically
take grasp, capture, choose, select, tolerate, endure
terrific extraordinary, magnificent, marvelous
think conceive, imagine, ponder, reflect, contemplate
try attempt, endeavor, venture, test
use employ, operate, utilize
very unusually, extremely, deeply, exceedingly, profoundly
want desire, crave, yearn, long



Narrow your Focus: Why Writers Should Specialize

By Kelly James-Enger

Want to set yourself from other freelancers? Save time pitching, researching, and writing stories? Create a lucrative niche for yourself? And best of all, make more money as a freelancer?

I have one word for you: "specialize." When I started my fulltime freelance writing career seven years ago, I employed what I now call the "saturation bombing" technique. I queried every magazine I could think of with a wide variety of ideas. At one point, I had 54 queries out-- yet few were assigned. Those that were assigned covered the gamut of topics from business articles to bridal pieces to personal finance stories. Nearly every article concerned a subject new to me, so each time I wrote one, I spent hours researching and learning about the topic so I could write about it with authority.

Finally, I got smart ... Read on



Looking for the Right Word? - Look it up!

The Visual Thesaurus uses word maps to make finding the right word so much more interesting and useful




Learn how you can create the life of your dreams writing copy


Kelly Robbins has partnered with best-selling author and founder of Comprehensive Coaching U, Terri Levine, to create a class that will help copywriters follow their dreams and kick-start their copywriting business.

In this 10-week class, you’re going to:

--Clearly identify what niche to work in.

--Find out what is important to your target market. You’ll learn how to get to know them, how to uncover what they need from a copywriter and how to get in front of them.

--Learn what marketing methods work best for successful copywriters.

--Discover ways to get in front of your target audience and build a strong and loyal client base.

--Hear interviews with experts in the copywriting and business-building fields — experts that will help you grow your business.

--Learn how to put systems in place so your business runs smoothly and you can spend time doing what you love…copywriting.

--Hear from other business building experts like Chet Holmes, Robert Imbriale and Nancy Morris.

This isn’t your traditional copywriting class. You’re going to get your hands dirty and get your business off the ground. You’ll have homework assignments that Kelly and Terri will personally give you feedback on. You’ll develop your marketing materials and create articles for publication — plus you’ll learn how to get in front of the right person at the publications you want to write for. You’ll have a clear vision of your business and how it will run.

Every other week of this 10-week course will include expert interviews. Experts in a field that will directly impact your ability to get the business you’ve been thinking about for so long…a business that makes well over $100,000 a year. You will take the action steps necessary to make your dream a reality.

Group sizes are understandably very limited for this roll-out program.

This is highly specialized and serious coaching, training and interactive mentoring support. This class is for you if you’re serious about making high-profits in copywriting this year and creating the business you want. For more information, visit Copywriting E-course with Kelly Robbins and Terri Levine




Portable Writing:

The Secret to Living Your Dreams with 25 Projects to Fund Your Freedom (Paperback) by Kay Kennedy

Free Excerpt From The Book (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Amazon's price: $16.95