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Mr Kaplan actually acknowledges that not everyone thinks as he does. He comments, for example, the well-publicised fact that the split infinitive was invented as a rule in English because in Latin, the way words are structured i. However, his reaction to this is that "to argue that we should not worry about the split infinitive because the taboo comes from Latin is to argue that we should throw out many basic rules of English grammar".

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Really, Mr Kaplan? I rather think the argument is actually that we should throw it out "it comes from Latin and serves no practical purpose in making meaning clearer in English " Don't get me wrong, I don't disagree with everything in the book. Writing in the active voice, rather than the passive, for example, is all good.

It shortens sentences, and makes them more alive. Or how about keeping sentences for the most part short?


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That's all good too, although varying length a little between sentences is never a bad thing either. Unfortunately, a vast number of the rewritten sentences Mr Kaplan offers beyond this strike me as far more colourless and lifeless than the originals he cites. They'd be suitable for a pure-news newspaper article which I believe is indeed his background , but they're not suitable for a web writer, a marketer, or anyone else who actually wants to connect with their readers.

To my thinking, there's nothing beneficial in here that isn't also in The Oxford Guide to Plain English, by Martin Cutts - and "Plain English" is a far more readable, sensible guide to writing well that's far better explained.


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  • Dec 23, Christopher Goins rated it liked it. This was ok. Between stars out of 5. This book has one of the best chapters on the use of "only" in a sentence. The book had a spelling error, which is not a good thing for an editing book, and seems to go against the authors advice at the end of the book to read the copy again "first for sense, then for spelling and grammatical errors" p. The chapter on the use of "that" left me with questions.

    It's one thing to say don't use "that" in a sentence and drop it; but to not explain why pu This was ok. It's one thing to say don't use "that" in a sentence and drop it; but to not explain why puzzles me. It's a serious editorial question I have. The reason given was that it slowed the pace or should I have written "The reason was it slowed the pace".

    I need to know when it is grammatically necessary to use "that" in a sentence and when it is not. Overall, the book was helpful, and humorous ocassionally. I was underwhelmed by the end. Dec 10, Joe Noonan rated it it was amazing.

    This book is clear, concise, and readable;everything a help book, or any other writing, should be. Kaplan does not try to present one style of writing as the best, rather, he helps you use your own style at it's best. He separates conversational grammmar from written grammar clearly, while seeing the neeed for both in some book genres. He stresses the active voice as opposed to passive to light up your work.

    As a former writer of VA documents, I can attest to the tedium of the passive voice. I think Editing Made Easy is a must-have for new, as well as, experienced writers and editors in all genres. Whether you are a novelist or the club bulletin editor, this book will make your writing better. Not a bad little book for beginners. Small in size and easy to transport with a notebook or inside a bag. Editing made easy, offers advice on the dreaded E word and tips to help you blossom as a writer. Most of what I read was easy to understand however, the comma section was small and dealt only with a small area.

    Editing made easy is aimed mainly at writers who wish to write articles for news papers and does little to help writers outside this region of writing. A handy little book for any writers book shelf but not as helpful as one would think.

    Dec 10, Marika Charalambous rated it really liked it. Entertaining and educational book, with a caveat that not every rule the author mentions is in fact fixed in stone. Language is evolving, and many words and phrases that the author considers 'cliche' or wrong ways of writing things, are in fact quite accepted today. Nevertheless, the few hours it took me to read the book were well worth spending. This is a simple guide to punctuation and sentence structure. I found it helpful, although, I think it is geared towards newspaper and magazine editing.

    It doesn't cover everything such as editing marks but it is useful for those who want to brush up on basic rules of writing. Jan 29, John Richards rated it it was amazing. This is an essential resource for writers and editors. Keep a copy of this nearby when writing and editing. Great book for writers and editors - very to the point. If you need a quick hand with the basics, this is the book for you.

    Jan 16, Brian Walker rated it liked it Shelves: improvement. Good concise review.

    Easy Reading Is Damn Hard Writing

    Nov 17, Tamara rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction , work , web-content. Short and sweet. Mar 06, Greg Rothenberger rated it liked it Shelves: reference. A very useful book, both for writers and editors.

    Writing Skills

    Not the most interesting read, though. Jan 23, Greg Rothenberger rated it liked it. Oct 27, Catherine rated it really liked it Shelves: editing. I found it very easy to follow as well as enlightening on my own writing tendencies. Dec 23, Sarah rated it it was ok Shelves: non-fiction , writing. Aimed at reporters and such. I write fiction, so this short book didn't help me much.

    There were a few sections that provided some good refresher material. Would recommend for students. Nov 12, Cindy Jewkes rated it it was amazing. Easy to read and very informative. Liz rated it liked it Feb 25, Allie Vera rated it really liked it Jul 10, Manjit Kakkar rated it liked it Apr 30, Joseph Thomas rated it liked it Mar 26, Julie rated it liked it Apr 08, JDM Dia rated it it was amazing Oct 06, Emanuel Cachia rated it really liked it Jul 01, Eva Yap-Todos rated it really liked it Jul 22, Glenda Fralin rated it liked it Aug 06, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

    Revision: Some revisions must be made. Passive voice. Even better: Please make some revisions. Rule 4. To avoid confusion and pompousness , don't use two negatives to make a positive without good reason. Example: The book is uneven but not uninteresting. However, the novelist-essayist George Orwell warned of its abuse with this deliberately silly sentence: "A not unblack dog was chasing a not unsmall rabbit across a not ungreen field.

    Rule 5. Use consistent grammatical form when offering several ideas. This is called parallel construction. Correct: I admire people who are honest, reliable, and sincere. Note that are applies to and makes sense with each of the three adjectives at the end. Incorrect: I admire people who are honest, reliable, and have sincerity.

    1. Practice your craft

    In this version, are does not make sense with have sincerity , and have sincerity doesn't belong with the two adjectives honest and reliable. Correct: You should check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Note that check your applies to and makes sense with each of the three nouns at the end. Incorrect: You should check your spelling, grammar, and punctuate properly. Here, check your does not make sense with punctuate properly , and punctuate properly doesn't belong with the two nouns spelling and grammar.

    5 tips to improve your writing

    The result is a jarringly inept sentence.