What’s that word?

Dictionaries—every writer needs them! This is the absolute best resource that Editing Addict has found on the dictionary front:

ONELOOK.COM

This dictionary allows you to type in ONE place, and yet see EVERY dictionary’s varied results.
 
Writing a book that takes place in Britain? Better find out if their definition of words are the same as yours!
 
This tool helps you to do that.
 
Perfection. Enjoy. Write!
 
 
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Punctuation Hilarity

[found on dailywritingtips.com]

“I’ve finally got round to reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss.

Here’s a book that is not only useful and fun to read, its phenomenal popularity carries a moral for every writer:

Don’t worry about following the market. Don’t try to produce another DaVinci Code or Harry Potter. Write what you’re enthusiastic about and kindred spirits will find your book.

Who could have guessed that a book about punctuation would hit the top of the charts?

First published in April of 2004, Eats, Shoots and Leaves spent 25 weeks on the NY Times bestseller list and by October of that year had gone back to press 22 times to bring the total of copies in print to a million. I can’t guess how many copies are out there by now.

At a bit more than 200 pages including the bibliography, this little book describes the rules that govern the use of:

    • apostrophe
    • comma
    • colon
    • semi-colon
    • dash
    • hyphen
    • period

Plenty of other writing guides exist that describe the use of punctuation symbols, but the Truss book livens the discussion by throwing in history, examples of offensive punctuation, and the cheeky attitude that any English speaker smart enough to achieve an elementary school education ought to be smart enough to use apostrophes correctly.”

[found on http://www.dailywritingtips.com/review-of-eats-shoots-and-leaves]
 

Time Wibbly-Wobbly Management

[found on entrepreneur.com]

Practice the following techniques to become the master of your own time:

    1. Carry a schedule and record all your thoughts, conversations and activities for a week. This will help you understand how much you can get done during the course of a day and where your precious moments are going. You’ll see how much time is actually spent producing results and how much time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, conversations and actions.
    2. Any activity or conversation that’s important to your success should have a time assigned to it. To-do lists get longer and longer to the point where they’re unworkable. Appointment books work. Schedule appointments with yourself and create time blocks for high-priority thoughts, conversations, and actions. Schedule when they will begin and end. Have the discipline to keep these appointments.
    3. Plan to spend at least 50 percent of your time engaged in the thoughts, activities and conversations that produce most of your results.
    4. Schedule time for interruptions. Plan time to be pulled away from what you’re doing. Take, for instance, the concept of having “office hours.” Isn’t “office hours” another way of saying “planned interruptions?”
    5. Take the first 30 minutes of every day to plan your day. Don’t start your day until you complete your time plan. The most important time of your day is the time you schedule to schedule time.
    6. Take five minutes before every call and task to decide what result you want to attain. This will help you know what success looks like before you start. And it will also slow time down. Take five minutes after each call and activity to determine whether your desired result was achieved. If not, what was missing? How do you put what’s missing in your next call or activity?
    7. Put up a “Do not disturb” sign when you absolutely have to get work done.
    8. Practice not answering the phone just because it’s ringing and e-mails just because they show up. Disconnect instant messaging. Don’t instantly give people your attention unless it’s absolutely crucial in your business to offer an immediate human response. Instead, schedule a time to answer email and return phone calls.
    9. Block out other distractions like Facebook and other forms of social media unless you use these tools to generate business.
    10. Remember that it’s impossible to get everything done. Also remember that odds are good that 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and activities produce 80 percent of your results.”

[found on http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219553]

Pre – Positional Is Where a Preposition Lives

[found on grammar.about.com]

“Like adjectives and adverbs, prepositional phrases add meaning to the nouns and verbs in our sentences. There are two prepositional phrases in the following sentence:

The steamy air in the kitchen reeked of stale food.

The first prepositional phrase–in the kitchen–modifies the noun air; the second–of stale food–modifies the verb reeked. The two phrases provide information that helps us understand the sentence.

The Two Parts of a Prepositional Phrase
A prepositional phrase has two basic parts: a prepositionplus a noun or a pronoun that serves as the object of the preposition. A preposition is a word that shows howa noun or a pronoun is related to another word in a sentence. The common prepositions are listed in the table at the bottom of this page.

Building Sentences with Prepositional Phrases
Prepositional phrases often do more than just add minor details to a sentence: they may be needed for a sentence to make sense. Consider the vagueness of this sentence without prepositional phrases:

The workers gather a rich variety and distribute it.

Now see how the sentence comes into focus when we add prepositional phrases:

From many sources, the workers at the Community Food Bank gather a rich variety of surplus and unsalable food and distribute it to soup kitchens, day-care centers, and homes for the elderly.

Notice how these added prepositional phrases give us more information about certain nouns and verbs in the sentence:

      • Which workers?
      • The workers at the Community Food Bank.
      • What did they gather?
      • A rich variety of surplus and unsalable food.
      • Where did they gather the food?
      • From many sources.
      • Who did they distribute it to?
      • To soup kitchens, day-care centers, and homes for the elderly.

Like the other simple modifiers, prepositional phrases are not merely ornaments; they add details that can help us understand a sentence.

PRACTICE: Building with Simple Modifiers
Use adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases to expand the sentence below. Add details that answer the questions in parentheses and make the sentence more interesting and informative.

Jenny stood, raised her shotgun, aimed, and fired.
(Where did Jenny stand? How did she aim? What did she fire at?)

There are, of course, no single correct answers to the questions in parentheses. Sentence-expanding exercises such as this one encourage you to use your imagination to build original sentences.”

Common Prepositions

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[found on: http://grammar.about.com/od/basicsentencegrammar/a/prepphrases.htm]