What are your writing eccentricities?

Writers can be an eccentric bunch.

Edith Wharton wrote by cutting and pasting scraps of paper together. Sir Walter Scott wrote most of Marmion while riding a horse. Edgar Allen Poe often wrote with his cat in his lap or perched on his right shoulder. When Victor Hugo was feeling distracted, he would write naked to be totally alone with his pen and paper.

Throughout my career in corporate communications, I have cultivated many writing eccentricities. Now that I’m thinking about it, I have more eccentricities than I care to count. But the one I’ll admit to involves phone numbers.

I can’t stand it when people use periods instead of hyphens in phone numbers.

When I was in college, I had a graphic design professor who referred to himself as “Dr. Design.” Dr. Design was a pretentious, overblown, pompous ass who sucked every ounce of fun out of graphic design. He used periods for phone numbers. So every time I see periods in a phone number, I think of Dr. Design and change the periods to hyphens. I don’t care which style guide says what. I don’t care if someone is going to change the hyphens back to periods. When I see periods in a phone number, I replace them with hyphens.

PR Daily readers, what are your writing eccentricities?

The article was first published on Ragan Communication’s PR Daily.

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