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The other day, for no particular reason, I happened across After Deadline, a weekly post at NYTimes.com that discusses the use (and misuse) of spelling, grammar, word usage, and general style in regards to articles in the New York Times. It’s apparently adapted from a weekly in-house article reminding reporters and editors alike about particular points from the NY Times’ manual of style. Because of this, it’s obviously geared toward the short and to-the-point writing of nonfictional news articles, not so much the long-winded, very descriptive style of fiction, but I still found it extremely interesting to read through the critiques, many of which are just as applicable to fiction as they are to news articles.
Some of the more interesting topics are those on misused words (like the poor, sorely-treated “bemused”), misuse of verbs (either violating subject-verb agreement or just the wrong verb for a sentence), and words to avoid. The series in general makes me want to get the New York Times manual of style (if they publish it publicly!) just to read it over.
Anyway, I’ve been enjoying some of the posts from that series, and thought you guys might too!