Tags: formatting

  • chiroho

Friday Funnies: Fonts worse than Comic Sans

I think it's fair to say that Comic Sans is a font that attracts a lot of hatred -- largely because it's been significantly overused. But is it the worst font out there? CollegeHumor has come up with a list of 8 different fonts that they think are worse than Comic Sans, and I have to agree that some of them are pretty terrible. What do you think?

Click on the comic below to open the CollegeHumor site and see all 8 fantastically bad fonts.

  • chomiji

Answer: Using Punctuation with Abbreviations

starwatcher307 asked us "How do you punctuate with abbreviations?"

One of the first things to get out of the way on this issue is whether you want to use periods (British usage: full stops) in your abbreviations. For a discussion about how to decide whether to use periods in an abbreviation, see our earlier article.

If the abbreviation in question is something like NCIS or CIA, without periods, you would follow normal rules of punctuation, as you would for the complete name of the organization. But if your abbreviation is, say, U.N. (United Nations) or Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), things are a little more tricky - but only a little.

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Answer -- Indicating Titles in Text

saavikam77 asked:

How do you designate titles (of novels, newspaper articles, etc.) in text? (with examples from Stargate SG-1 and Harry Potter)

When naming specific titles in the text of a story, it's best to use the academic styles. But, there's also a stylistic component.

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pink ribbon
  • chiroho

Answer: How are italics used in text?

saavikam77 asked, “How are italics used in text? (For instance, if the text on a sign was being described, or things like the 'up' button of an elevator, the 'send' button on a phone, or the 'A' section of a newspaper, or if a character was reading a letter, or nicknames like 'Mad Dog' Lane)”

Originally, the ‘Italic hand’ was used to describe the slightly angled, elegant lettering of Italian medieval manuscripts. As such, it was a font in and of itself. Today, while there are exclusively italic fonts, it is much more commonly seen as a font variant. As saavikam77 asks, though, how should one use italics?

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grammar time

Reference: Three Writing Articles

"Three Grammar Rules You Can (and Should) Break"
Michelle Pierce, Copyblogger

Description: A list of three grammar rules that never made all that much sense to begin with.

Why Is It Useful? A straightforward explanation of much-mocked rules about prepositions and splitting infinitives, including neat things like pop-culture examples. An ancestor to our own humble efforts?

Quote: Come on: “to go boldly where no man has gone before” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “to boldly go.” If it sounds better to split the infinitive, then take an axe to it!

"5 Evergreen Editing Tips"
Maria Schneider, Editor Unleashed

Description: Five common mistakes that can easily be corrected in the editing phase.

Why Is It Useful? One would think that these mistakes (run-on sentences, modifier abuse) are simple mistakes to catch, but they're very common. Like the first article, this one lays them out in simple, easy-to-understand ways. This article is written by a professional editor.

Quote: Run-on sentences may seem deep and complex, but are often awkward and difficult to follow. Rewriting into two or three sentences will lead to better flow and readability.

"Follow These Rules for Stronger Writing"
Writer's Digest

Description: Thirteen tips for clean, efficient writing, both prose style and plotting.

Why Is It Useful? This article contains a variety of tips, as well as examples of incorrect and fixed sentences for the grammar and style ones.

Quote: The best prose has a rhythm to it. Honor that rhythm.
can't resist the Heero, Duo (GW), shakespeare

ANSWER: When should you use periods in abbreviations?

Is it just a fanfic thing to drop the periods in the abbreviations or has it become “acceptable” outside of fanfic as well? (ex. NCIS vs. N.C.I.S., SGC vs. S.G.C.)

While fanfic has been around for a long time, so have dropped periods in abbreviations. In fact, if you go to the Official NCIS website, you'll notice even the United States government drops the periods.

Unfortunately, whether or not the dropping is "acceptable" depends on who you're writing for and what style you're using.

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Answer: Differentiating Internal Thought and Dialogue

forestgreen wanted to know:

How do you indicate internal thought vs. dialogue? (with examples from Stargate SG-1, Heroes, and Supernatural)

Unlike some of the questions we answer here, this is an issue of style, and there is no simple right or wrong answer. There are, however, common conventions you can follow.

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