11 of your writing eccentricities

It turns out – PR Daily readers – that your writing eccentricities are considerably more interesting than mine.

A few posts ago, I wrote about my one of my writing eccentricities . . . my abhorrence of periods in phone numbers. I also asked PR Daily readers to confess and share their idiosyncrasies, eccentricities, and funny writing habits. Here’s what you said.

  • “I… am… obsessed… with… ellipses! (And you are right, not only is it annoying when folks use periods in phone numbers, it often fouls up smart phones on call-backs. Memo to your readers: take… note… and… change… this… practice. (Sorry, there I go again…)”
  • “I refuse to begin any story with the word ‘The.’”
  • “Whenever I have writer’s block I have found that eating a significant quantity of a certain national brand of potato chips (which has mesas, or mountain ranges, or hills or something) magically cures it!”
  • “I have one prominent writing eccentricity–the em dash.”
  • “My writer eccentricity: Rubbing my hands together helps me think when stuck for words. Exactly how a TV villain would do it.”
  • “Toward doesn’t have an ‘s’ on it. Also, I can’t stand when people use ‘a lot’ to refer to an amount. I’ll never forget my 7th grade English teacher saying ‘a lot’ is a piece of land.’”
  • “I am not a fan of the Oxford comma, but I succumb to using it if rewriting to get rid of its necessity is insufficient. While I always choose a hyphen for SEO purposes, I try to distinguish between hyphens, negative signs, en dashes and em dashes.”
  • “I can’t stand sentences ending in prepositions! There is a genuine sweet spot in my heart for ellipses! I’m a firm believer in the Oxford comma! Oh, and I over exclaim.”
  • “Fav chair, hot tea, fav reading lamp w/the right brightness, laptop, headphones, classical music, sleeping cat beside me- *sigh* okay, I can write now…”
  • “My local coffee shop, Mugs. Also, FroYo helps…”
  • “I can only achieve “flow” while listening to Lady Gaga for some reason.”

Eccentricities indeed. Ragan readers . . . any others to add to this list?

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


Laura Hale Brockway is a medical writer and editor from Austin, Texas. She writes about writing and editing at impertinentremarks.com.







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