Monday, August 16, 2010

I Could Care Less about Today's Writing Tip!

Some people have trouble determining when to use the phrase, "I could care less," and when to say, "I couldn't care less." Here's an illustration:

A local radio show is about to go off the air, and Bill is upset. He loves this program, but his friend Bob can't stand it. Bob has no interest in talk radio, therefore, he could not care less about the show's demise. Saying that Bob could care less would mean that he would have to care somewhat to begin with, but he doesn't care at all.

There may be rare instances when you want to say "could care less," but it can only be used when someone already cares. Most of the time this expression is used to indicate indifference, so you want to use, "I couldn't care less."

John Cleese says it best:

Sigrid Macdonald is a book coach, a manuscript evaluator, and the author of three books, including Be Your Own Editor, now available on (Paperback) and on sale at (Kindle).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

RSVP, Please -- Today's Writing Tip Is on Redundancy

How many times do you run across phrases like this?

David just sent me a text from his cell phone.
I have to be there at 10 AM in the morning.
He was all alone by himself.
The rugged kayak lover grew up in a tiny little town.

Stop! There's no need to repeat yourself. We know that a text message is not being sent from a toaster, and that 10 AM will always be morning. When you're writing, it's good to be creative and allow your juices to flow. Get everything down. But when you're editing, streamline. Cut everything that's unnecessary. It will make for a much cleaner sentence... And there is no need to add "please" to RSVP because SVP stands for s'il vous plaƮt, the French term for please.

Sigrid Macdonald is a book coach, an editor, and the author of three books, including the newly released Be Your Own Editor, available on Lulu or on Amazon in paperback, and on Kindle. (Paperback) (Kindle)

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