For those of us who actually liked and used Twitter, the months since Elon Musk took it over have been rough.
Twitter’s web traffic is down 11% compared to the same time in 2022. In less than two weeks, some 150 million people signed up for the new Twitter alternate, Meta’s Threads. Now Musk has rebranded Twitter to “X” and we’re lamenting the loss of Larry, the little blue bird logo.
Will this be the final straw? Maybe so. One way or another, though, people are still on social media. And it’s still the famous “firehose” of information, where individual tweets and posts can easily be missed. And so, here’s another roundup of social media posts I’ve shared that you may not have seen, all about writing and punctuation.
I love this. “Rather than revile those [early first] drafts… we could honor them, realizing their roughness was gold, a necessary stage toward the revisions that would lead to our best work.” Roy Peter Clark on what he learned about writing from Tina Turner.
And speaking of Roy Peter Clark, Katharine Gammon shares the top takeaways from his new book, “Tell It Like Is Is: A Guide to Clear ad Honest Writing.”
Four ways to write compelling opening sentences – like a “direct address” or “big picture” – from 2023 Pulitzer Prize winners, by Tom Corfman.
Need to shorten your sentences? Daphne Gray-Grant says it can be as easy as cutting long sentences in two, removing redundant words (“circle around”) and turning words that end in “tion” back into a strong verb (“in collaboration with” becomes “collaborated with”).
“Readers just aren’t that into you,” says Ann Wylie. “So if you want people to read your document, craft reader-centered writing.” She shares some helpful examples.
Sweet Cheez-Its! Ann Handley goes digging for “five-star sentences” that use memorable metaphors and finds three she loves.
A guide to using apostrophes and possessives, like when letters have been left out or for single-letter plurals, by Allison Carter for Ragan Communications.
AP Style does not use the serial comma in simple lists, but suggests using it when it makes your sentence more clear. I can go along with that! This tip and others from Mignon Fogarty aka Grammar Girl, collected for PR Daily.
And now, exclamations! I was gobsmacked to find out that “!?” isn’t the same than a “?!”: The first denotes puzzlement, while the second incredulity. Or is it the other way around?
Links from May, all about diversity and inclusion
Links from April, about the uses and misuses of AI and tips for writing prompts
Links from March, with tips for newsletters, print publications and word choices