Periodically I research for myself on the subject of “writing”; that is a bit of a shocker as it is my chosen means of earning a crust.
I came across a site which you can find here – www.grammarbook.com – an American site again but informative and helpful if you just watch for those Americanized spellings.
One recommendation I found useful is avoiding the overuse of “there is”, “there are” and “it was”; something I am perennially guilty of.
Remember one of the Supaproofread writing tips – if you can dispose of a word in your piece then remove it as long as your message is not affected. This is simply good practice to impart your ideas with economy so the message is not lost in an overgrown bramble of words.
Here are some examples to chew on:
“There is a car accident reported on the news.”
“The news reported a car accident”
Note the use of the active voice in my corrected version – remember with active voice, follow the sequence “Doer – Action – Event” not the reverse.
“There is some more work to be done.”
“Do more work!”
Something we have all heard our boss tell us, still it imparts the message imperatively.
Another sin I commit is using double negatives. As a mathematical scholar in my spare time, I understand a double negative means a positive so; -1 +(-1) = +2; try explaining the logic of that to an 11 year old!
When it comes to writing it is not pretty and very easy to lose your reader with the logical twists and turns. The example given was “He is not unwilling to help.” when simply writing “He will help.” is clearer and easier to both write and understand.
Finally, parallel construction was a new one on me – here, you use the same grammatical form when providing several ideas within the same sentence or piece. An example is:
“Train with weights, running and swim.”
“Train with weights, running and swimming.”
Quite a neat little site, and as I enjoy learning something new each day, I feel it was a productive few minutes.