11 February 2013

20 redundant phrases to eliminate from your genealogy writing & other writing tips!

source: http://serc.carleton.edu/images/sp/carl_ltc/wacn/writing.jpg

Writing and genealogy go hand-in-hand.

The research we do has little meaning unless we do some writing to share the story of the ancestors we have learned about.

And, as writers, we all have our “tendencies.” To be blunt, too many or too few commas, misuse of words/phrases, sentences that look like paragraphs, abuse of exclamation points (I “guiltily” raise my hand on this one.  I am working hard to control the impulses!), lack of punctuation, lack of focus, etc.  The list goes on!

source: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/331052ed-e514-48fc-8b12-a606dba74f4e.aspx 

To my chagrin, after reading Mickie Kennedy’s post on Ragan’s PR Daily, 20 redundant phrases to eliminate from your writing, I learned that it’s not uncommon for me to sprinkle some redundant phrases in my writing.  If you feel proud that you don’t ever use any of these phrases, I challenge you to check out this list of 200 common redundancies!

I’m curious – are there redundant phrases particular to genealogy and family history writing that we might be guilty of?

Let’s go a step further – are there any kind of phrase particular to genealogy and family history writing that we might be guilty of?

We want to make sure that future readers know exactly what we learned and how.  We want them to know what is based on facts and what is not.  We want what we produce to be “easily” read and yet have substance. Ultimately, we do want to make sure that “someone” reads what we have written.  So, let’s make that easy for them to do.

If you know that you would like to be a better writer, here are some links geared to genealogists and family historians:

Have any genealogy-related writing resources you’d like to share?

Remember too, when you get really good at writing about your ancestors, consider the NGS-sponsored Family History Writing Contest (31 Dec deadline).

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  1. Please edit the very first line of the text.

    Dave McDonald, CG

  2. We at Upfront with NGS love comments! And, please do be specific about "what" edits you would like to see.

    We try to catch most spelling, word usage and other errors before we publish. Given that, an idea of what correction you would like to see would greatly help. Especially before the first cup of coffee of the day.

    Keep those comments coming.

  3. First sentence has been reworded from "genealogists goes" to "genealogy go"

  4. The first genealogical redundancy that comes to mind is: "Direct Descendant"

  5. This isn't about redundancy, but it's better to use bold or italic text for emphasis rather than quotation marks.

  6. Thanks for including The Armchair Genealogist, very much appreciated.

  7. Happy to do so! Like to spread the word of so many talented genealogists and family historians in our community! Especially those that can help us make our research available to others!

  8. A bit of fun with regards to writing ... more of the cellphone short-hand variety and ... 8 New Punctuation Marks We Desperately Need, http://www.collegehumor.com/article/6872071/8-new-and-necessary-punctuation-marks