Grammar – The Changing Rules

Although they may not like it, people are now aware that nothing remains the same. Everything changes. That’s why I find it amazing when some people appear stunned to hear grammar rules and writing styles change.

But why shouldn’t they?  Grammar and writing style rules were invented to meet a specific need. When the need changes or no longer works, shouldn’t the rule?

For instance, periods did not exist until the 4th century. At that point, St. Jerome decided he needed them to make his translations of the scriptures easier to understand. I am sure he probably got complaints about the strange mark in his writing style.

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Proposal Writing: Essential Skill for All Organizations

In the spring of 2010, Immigration Canada put out a call for proposals to agencies across Canada that provide immigration services. It received over 600 applications.

These proposals were particularly important this year as the amount of money to be distributed across the country was considerably less.  In other words, the pie was a lot smaller.  All submissions were rated based on criteria such as relevance to need, value for money, cost effectiveness, organization governance, and the agency’s track record in reporting and financial accountability.

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12 Ways to Increase the Readability of Your Business Documents

The first step in creating a reader-friendly document is not writing style as many people would expect. It is the layout of the page or screen. If a document appears difficult to read because of the font, print density and lack of organization, you will immediately reduce its readability.

Based on research, reading tests and discussions within my writing workshops, here are some techniques I recommend to improve the readability of documents.

  1. Use a serif font, such as Times New Roman or Garamond, for body text. It helps readers’ eyes move faster thus improving readability. Most newspapers are written with a serif font. (Serif fonts have curls at the end of letters.)
    If the document is a report or manual, change the headings and subheadings to a sans serif (without curls) font, such as Arial, Opus, or Verdana. You want to slow the reader down at these places. Never use more than two different fonts in a document.
  2. If the document is to be read mainly from a computer screen (an email or web document), use a sans serif font such as Arial. This is because it’s easier on the eyes. With screen documents, readers are reading light — not print. Read more