Writing and the English Language

 

 

Man Writing in Notebook

 

 

 

Hey writers,

There are some people that think writing is easy and I would bet the majority of those same people have

never tried once to communicate anything through the written word. You know who I am talking about.

 

But for those out there that have managed to write a few nuggets; I would like to hit on how that

writing system is working for you. Yes, writing system. You have a writing system now, don’t you?

 

But, before we start to create an outline for a writing system we need to understand

some basics that are involved.

 

So Let’s dive right in!

Writing Basics

Writing is a form of communication that complements our basic way of relating to each other that

we call speech.

 

When this complement is formed into a system or outline that nurtures the author’s creative side;

then the outcome is a more productive and creative endeavor.

 

More importantly, it produces an interesting read.

Material / Research

 

Where to find writing material

 

  • Your Life Journeys

 

  • Others Life JourneysOpen Book with Pen

 

  • Read Books and Articles

 

  • Your Daily Journal ( you have one, right? )

 

  • Internet

 

  • On the Throne

 

  • Thoughts on Today

 

Really, those that write to eat are always in research mode.

It’s just that life tends to get in the way from time to time, right?

 

The one main verb that tends to escape us and it is a bit of a conundrum and that is of course – write.

Write it on paper, record it, message yourself or whatever works for you at the time but listen,

how many times have you thought of something that would sound good for a write only to find that

it has been deleted or written over in your mind when you do try and think about it.

 

Yes, I am 60 but I know that I am not the only one out here fighting with a diminishing memory. Heck I

have been dealing with it since grade school and believe me it is not getting any better any time soon.

Practice a Writer Makes

Honing your craft can only come as you learn to write/practice on a daily schedule.

Every writer has to come up with his or her system that works for them.

 

You may be able to think more clearly and create more in-depth written conversation early in the morning

or have you ever seriously tried to write at two or three in the morning? Maybe you should try it.

 

Music or no music? Barefoot or socks?

 

Once you get a groove on and feel that you’re in your zone then write like the wind and keep writing.

You only get better by keeping that keyboard popping.

 

You will learn to think in a writing mode all the time by keeping your ears and eyes open

for words that could make up that catchy headline or an awesome topic you can see

yourself doing research on.

 

Practice as much as you write and you will be fine.

 

Always have pen and paper with you at all times, twenty-four-seven.

Spelling

Again practice is going to help with spelling as well by reading anything, all the time.

You can be the best at spelling but proofreading will not only help you find word structures

that best gets your point across but will also help you find misspelled words.

 

At the end of your work and multiple proofreads, there is always the spell checker.

 

Yes, they are worth their weight in gold.

Grammar

Grammar is a subject that we all were introduced to starting in elementary school and it was one of those

subjects that we were not specially graded on in our everyday speech and that some faked

it in their homework and book reports.Magnifying Glass Over Word Grammar

 

English teachers taught us how to outline sentences and use

correct sentence structure. There are rules to grammar but like

myself, you probably have forgotten most of them years ago.

 

Here are a few ways to brush up on your grammar:

 

Look up three new words every day in your dictionary. Write the

words down a try and formulate a sentence with your new

words. Before the end of the day try and speak your new words in a sentence to someone.

Punctuation

Before the 3rd century BCE, there was no punctuation at all. The text was written on scrolls and all

the words ran together with no space or capital letters to differentiate between words and sentences.

 

Could you imagine?

 

As it were, the same written word came across with different meanings as each reader had to make

sense of the text and ultimately would read into the text a different interpretation.

 

The librarian Aristophanes, in Alexandria of Egypt, became fed up with the time-consuming task

of making sense of all the scribble and started putting periods between each word. He came up with

his own system that started to become widely used and was the start of today’s modern writing applications.

 

There was a low period, a middle period, and a high period all of which were meant to

denote a different length of the pause.

The low period would be a slight pause between words and the middle period being

a long pause with the high period being the longest pause.

 

These pauses were to immolate the normal pauses that physical speech came across

within everyday conversation. During this time reading was done in public, aloud, and

the spoken word carried more weight than the written word.

 

These innovations would be abandoned and re-invented several times with different looks and

meanings up until the mid- 1450s, with the publication of Johannes Gutenberg’s 42-line Bible,

punctuation found itself unexpectedly frozen in time as the majority of the symbols we use today

were cast firmly in that era’s printing presses, never to change again.

 

Today there are 14 different punctuation marks in the English language. Let’s look at them.

 

 


Period – (.) Use at the end of a sentence or after an abbreviation.Punctuation Marks

 

Question Mark – (?) Indicates a direct question when placed at the end of a sentence.

 

Exclamation Mark – (!) Expression of a sudden outcry or add emphasis.

 

Comma – (,) A separation of ideas or elements within the structure of a sentence.

Additionally, it is used in numbers, dates, and letter writing after the salutation and closing.

 

Semi-Colon – (;) To connect independent clauses. It shows a close relationship between

the clauses than a period would show.

 

Colon– (:) There are three uses:

  • quotation

 

  • explanation

 

  • example or a series.

 

Dash – Separates words into statements. The two common types of dashes are: en dash and em dash.

 

En dash: Slightly wider than a hyphen, the en dash is a symbol (-) that is used to indicate a range or

connection, such as 2007-2018 or Dayton-Ohio-Flyers team.

 

Em dash: Double the length as the en dash, can be used in place of a comma, parenthesis,

or colon to emphasize the conclusion of a sentence. For example: I said, – No!

 

There are no rules about spaces around dashes. Just carry through and be consistent.

 

Hyphen– is used to join two or more words together and is not separated by spaces. Ex:

full-time, front-to-back, well-liked.

 

Brackets – are the squared notations ([]) used for explanations or to explain a meaning

 

Braces ({}) used to contain a line of text or a list of items to show that they are of one unit.

 

Parentheses ( () ) curved line or long comma the length of text used to contain thoughts or explain text

 

Apostrophe (‘) indicate a missing letter or letters from a word, the possessive case, or the plurals of a word.

 

Quotations marks (” “) pair of punctuation marks for the beginning and end of a passage of text

repeated word for word, a quote. They are also used to indicate meanings of text.

 

Ellipsis (…) most commonly represented by three periods (. . . ). The ellipsis is used in writing

to indicate words or letters that are purposely left out.

 

Ellipses can be used in quotations to jump from one phrase to another, leaving out unnecessary

words that do not interfere with the meaning.

 

Got all that? Great Let’s move on.

Sentence Structure

Sentence structures are broken into 4 different types-

 

Simple – A simple sentence that consists of one independent clause.

( A subject and verb with an object that expresses a complete thought.)

Ex: I like coffee.

 

Compound – A compound sentence made up of two independent clauses joined by a conjunction or

semicolon. The clause could form a sentence.

Ex: I like coffee and my Dad likes tea.

 

Complex – A complex sentence is made up from an independent clause plus a dependent one.

The dependent clause starts with a subordinating conjunction or a relative pronoun, and

contains a subject and verb, but does not relay a complete thought.

Ex: I mowed the grass just before the rain started.

 

Compound-Complex – A compound-complex sentence consists of at least two independent

clauses and one or more dependent clauses.

Ex: I mowed the grass just before the rain started but did not put the mower away.

 

There are four main types of sentences:

 

 

  • Statement Sentence Ex: I moved the couch today.

 

 

  • Command SentenceEx: Move the couch today.

 

 

  • Question SentenceEx: Did you move the couch today?

 

 

  • Exclamatory SentenceEx: Go move the couch!

 

Vocabulary

This is something that everybody can brush up on and in doing so will help in all the

areas that I have covered in this blog.

 

Look up three new words every day in your dictionary.

 

Write the words down a try and formulate a sentence with your new

words. Now as the opportunity arises, use these new-found words

in your day to day conversations.

 

In no time at all, you will notice that these words will come to mind as you talk,

going about your everyday schedule.

 

As you begin to enrich your vocabulary through conversation you will also notice

your writings will be enriched with new words and levels of meaning.

 

You know, I’ve noticed the darn’st thing and it’s that the word practice

just keeps on popping up, now doesn’t it?

Take Away

As you form a better understanding of grammar, sentence structure, and the basics of writing

then you need to start a trial and error experiment to find your sweet spot.

 

That spot where you best write with the right mix of things or the absent of things that allow

you to focus on your goals and connect that creative side of your brain to your keyboard.

 

Of course, what may work now may not work so well at a later time as what is going on in our life,

the surroundings, and life, in general, all play a part and has an effect on everything that we do.

 

The trick is to look ahead and try to avoid the negative influences and steer towards the positive ones.

 

Your The Best,

Paul Price

https://paulsdot.com

20 thoughts on “Writing and the English Language

  1. Paul, excellent post on the basics of writing! This has been bookmarked for reference. I especially like the short history lesson as to where punctuation came from! I had no idea that Aristophanes was the first to attempt to organize the written word. Fascinating information. I am pretty good at spelling although I will often mistype words, making my spellchecker one of my best friends! Thanks for the pep talk on practice and expanding my vocabulary!

  2. Thanks for this  important review on English and writing Sometimes writing can be a little difficult even if we have been writing all our lives we tend to make mistakes or even forget the right word to use in the right sentence,  I have been going through this writing problem for a long time how do I stop it? 

    • Thank you Seun for your comments. 

      I read a lot and I know for a fact that this helps me with my vocabulary and punctuation. Start with the newspaper or some of your favorite magazines. 

      Hope This Helps,

      Paul

  3. Hello Paul,The truth and after reading your very valuable article where you talk about the evolution of writing today since its inception. In my case I do not consider myself still a writer like you, not long ago I started writing on my own blog. 

    My memory is also failing, the passage of time in my case is allowing me to enjoy life more. 

    The writing is recent for me, are my first steps, I feel that I can express my feelings better through it.

    I hope to read more of your articles. 

    Regards! Claudio

  4. What a great post! 

    I love your tips and the way you explained the grammar and its importance. As you might notice English is not my first language, but I love writing posts and all of them of course in English.  Luckily I have a great proofreader/editor from the United States and he is helping me with my posts. Actually, I think its all about habit, the more you write more you will learn. Each writer has its own language, so to be a good writer you just need to practise on a daily basis… Even I see some small improvements after reading regularly corrections of my posts… 

  5. of a truth English language is posing a great challenge to many adults despite the fact that we were all thought English in our elementary school days.  We were all thought the use of grammar but unfortunately most of us have forgotten it completely. Some can speak very well but they can’t write while some can write their English very well  but can’t speak well. My opinion,, for one to keep doing very well in English language, he or she will cultivate the habit of learning new things everyday from the dictionary and also practicing whatever learnt everyday.

  6. Hi Paul, I have just created my own blog and I am starting to write a lot of content. It has been a long time since I have been writing like this (over 20 years since I was at high school). This post has been a great help to refresh me on the basics of writing structure and correct use of punctuation. My biggest problem is I don’t use enough full stops – I would have done well in ancient times writing on scrolls!

  7. Hi Paul! This post has been so helpful. I enjoyed reading it and at the same time you’re delivering such awesome content.

    English is not my first language. And I haven’t had time in life to properly study English. So quite a few of the things you pointed out here were new for me. And some of them are quite basic. It makes me embarrassed because I use them almost daily in my first language but didn’t know how they were called or how they worked in English. Can you believe I didn’t know what Ellipsis were? LOL

    I have bookmarked your site. And I know I’ll greatly benefit, and hopefully my writtings in English will improve from reading your posts. Thank you very much!

    • Thank you Henry for your time and those comments. I believe everyone could use a refresher in grammar and the English language. I am constantly looking up grammar rules and punctuation uses.

  8. Wow, I’m glad I came across this post. Thanks for sharing this informative and educative post. This article really came at the right time of my life. This is a must read for everyone who wants to venture into the writing world. I’m a writer and this post has really been of help. 

  9. Hi Paul – I really enjoyed reading your post about Writing and the English Language.  Writing does not come easily to everyone, myself included.  You have provided some great thoughts and tips that I had not really considered.  And I will put some thought into my own writing system.

    Thank you for this information.

    Michele

    • Thank you Michele for your time and comments. Yea, I am also one of those people that has to work at making my writing grammatically acceptable. I avoided the word correct. LOL

  10. I can attest to you that English is not easy as they say .and all that said and done being a good writer comes from doing allot of plactice and having a keen eye in everything that you type it might not look like it  but once you complete a sentence it will start drawing the picture of  what is in your mind . That how you eventually become a great writer 

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