Spring-cleaning for your bad writing habits

May 2, 2017
 

With spring comes rebirth, rejuvenation and, of course, baseball. (You didn’t expect that, did you?) With the change of seasons, now is a good time to look at some season-appropriate grammar and writing tips.

  1. Batter up. Avid baseball fans may not consider it to actually be spring until MLB’s opening day, but even though they might consider it to be a holiday, “opening day” is not a proper noun or capitalized. Also, note that “MLB” is a common abbreviation (as well as NFL, NBA, NHL and NASCAR), so it does not need to be spelled out on first reference.

  2. It’s time for a reminder about time. We’ve already cursed the hour we lost when we sprung our clocks forward, but it bears repeating that when we did that, we were entering daylight saving time – without an “s” on “saving.” Until we switch back to standard time in November, feel free to use the “EDT,” “CDT,” “MDT” and “PDT” abbreviations on the first reference when talking about an exact time in different zones. (Extra pro-tip: use a time zone converter to make sure you have calculated time differences correctly.)

  3. Avoid spring floweriness (in your writing). I have major seasonal allergies, and the return of spring flowers often means a lot of sneezing and a red nose for me. Flowery writing often evokes a similar negative reaction in me – it makes me want to scream, “BS!” So, while spring may signal the blooming roses, your writing should not reflect this seasonal theme. Cut out your marketing buzzwords, industry jargon and excessive adjectives. Don’t be a cliché (and don’t use clichés) and make sure your content is deliberate, and clearly convey your intended meaning to your readers.  

Spring weather is here, so make sure your content is fresh and free of any grammar faux pas. To further test your writing skills, take this quiz.

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