This morning, The Content Wrangler Scott Abel chatted with me in a recorded webinar. See it here: “Language Matters: How to Write Powerful Sentences & Paragraphs.”
Thanks to the skills and dedication of videographer Asia Brown and to the generosity of all who participated, Word Up! now has a trailer.
Today—my “book birthday” (as publicist extraordinaire Jessica Glenn calls it)—is almost over. April 27, National Tell a Story Day, is the official release day for Word Up! How has it gone?
I’ve been thinking about that. T-h-a-t. A handier word you’ll never find. Yet English speakers often omit it. That is left out. Suppressed, grammarians say. Implied.
Suppressing that doesn’t necessarily get you in trouble. Sometimes you can safely omit that when it follows a noun. Take shoes. Few misunderstand when you say the shoes you’re wearing instead of the shoes that you’re wearing.
Still, even following nouns, consider keeping your thats out in the open, especially if you write for those wonder workers we call translators or for people who struggle with English. Our language poses enough challenges when all the words are visible.
When it comes to verbs, though, don’t let that go without saying.
Thanks to the passion, persistence, and expertise of Portland videographer Asia Brown and to the generosity of Word Up! readers Adrienne Hartz, John Morrison, and Garret Romaine, you can now see some 30-second video snippets that will soon find their way into the book trailer.
Caroline Leavitt, book critic for The Boston Globe and People, posted an interview with Marcia Riefer Johnston on her blog yesterday. Leavitt says, “What I loved so much about Word Up! is that it’s so entertaining, that bettering your prose is almost effortless.”
Portland attorney and avid reader Gillion Dumas, whose blog goes by the name Rose City Reader, gives a nod to “Word Up!” in her “Mailbox Monday” review. Dumas writes, I am a grammar geek and love all kinds of “how to write well” books, from The Elements of Style to The Harvard Blue Book (that one dates me!) to Eats, Shoots and Leaves. I read them cover to cover, like novels. [Word Up!] is particularly good—livelier than most, but with plenty of substance.
I’m thrilled and honored to have Scott Abel, the one and only Content Wrangler, to thank for(e) the foreword to my for(e)thcoming book, Word Up! Scott writes, “If you’re like me, you learned the basics of the English language from a well-intentioned adult. Someone like Mrs. White, my fifth-grade Language Arts teacher … ”