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Offer ends 14 July.
Writing board papers
Australian style manual
A reader asked what Australian style manual I referred to last month.
Style manual: for authors, editors and printers, 6th edition
John Wiley & Sons, Australia Ltd, 2002
I have not made a typo – manual has a lower case m.
Q: Is it okay to include hyphens in predicate adjectives?
- The technology is state-of-the-art.
- The test was multiple-choice and…
- The new software is cutting-edge.
- The report is up-to-date.
- He was brought up to date. (No hyphens, because adverbial; correct?)
A: For those unfamiliar with grammar jargon, a predicate adjective is an adjective that comes after a linking verb (was, is, looks).
Based on that definition, the last example does not have a linking verb.
That aside, I agree with your hyphenation apart from your use of hyphens with up to date. I would only hyphenate this phrase in adjective form (an up-to-date report).
I would hyphenate the other phrases because hyphens are often used in commonly used expressions. Other examples are bitter-sweet, mother-in-law.
Email greetings and sign-offs
Q: Do you have any research or comments on email salutations and signoffs, particularly in business communication, as social emails can be as informal and funny as they like?
A: My preference is to start an email with ‘Hi’ and the person’s first name.
I sign off with ‘Regards’, but will sometimes use ‘Cheers’.
I don’t have any research to support my preferred styles.
Dear readers, what salutations and sign-offs do you use in emails?
Q: Is ‘additional’ redundant in the following sentences?
The worker would need to add additional bricks.
The organisation has identified two courses and may add additional courses in the future.
A: I don’t think ‘additional’ is redundant. Both sentences work better with ‘additional’, ‘more’ or ‘extra’.
The worker would need to add bricks.
The worker would need to add more bricks.
The first sentence implies no bricks have been laid. The second sentence makes it clear that more bricks are needed.
The organisation has identified two courses and may add courses in the future.
The organisation has identified two courses and may add more courses in the future.
The same argument doesn’t work with this sentence, but it sounds better with ‘more’. Can anyone give a better explanation?
Interesting stuff about writing
Do you judge writing by the number of times writers use the conjunction ‘and’? A spat arose at the World Bank over this word. Read more.
How Dr Seuss could simplify boring, wordy documents
This Guardian article is very clever.
An announcement from British Airways is Seussified and begins with:
The plane is not leaving
We’re sorry to say.
And check-in is heaving;
It will be all day!
Your plane to Barbados
Is stuck in Mumbai.
Your bag’s in Honduras.
The crew’s in Dubai.
Quote of the month
‘You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.’
Jack London, American author