Found 9 comments on HN
borncrusader · 2018-06-02 · Original thread
Another sentence I tried - "I wasn't that interested in working on my project today and hence I preferred to stay at home and watch Netflix in spite of the multitude of issues reported." is show as very hard! It makes me question if the original developer of this app has even read good well-known style guides for the English language.

I'd advice you to read a good style manual to understand more about writing and how to use words. One doesn't have to forcibly introduce words that are too complicated. There are good organic ways to write sentences that employ seemingly complex words in a natural way so that readers can understand quite well. The goal should be to elevate the users to get better at reading in addition to conveying your material, IMO.

A good book to read would be Steven Pinker's Sense of Style - https://www.amazon.com/Sense-Style-Thinking-Persons-Writing/....

One doesn't have to degrade their sentences just because we live in the age of attention span deterioration and social media. All of these minor tweaks can help people improve their attention spans by releasing micro dopamine orgasms.

> Commas and periods that are part of the overall sentence go inside the quotation marks, even though they aren’t part of the original quotation.

Please never do this.

Commas and full stops have meaning. You’re modifying the original quote without telling the reader that you have done so. How this became the accepted practice in so many style guides and grammar checkers I will never understand. I shall defer to Geoffrey Pullum’s Punctuation and human freedom [0], whose title is entirely appropriate, for justification. Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style [1] can provide the unconvinced further justification.

[0] http://www.lel.ed.ac.uk/~gpullum/punctfree.pdf [1] https://www.amazon.com/Sense-Style-Thinking-Persons-Writing/...

therealdrag0 · 2017-02-11 · Original thread
I highly recommend Steven Pinker's "The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century".

It is full of practical advice. I've read a lot of amateur (students/hobbyists) writing, so I can say his advice addresses a lot of common mistakes.

[] https://www.amazon.com/Sense-Style-Thinking-Persons-Writing/...

abecedarius · 2016-08-08 · Original thread
Pinker's https://www.amazon.com/Sense-Style-Thinking-Persons-Writing/... is longer but still focused and very good.

The Elements of Style was fine for me as a first peek into the subject in junior high; it's just as a kind of bible that it's overrated.

devinhelton · 2015-10-25 · Original thread
PG is on to something here, which is that when most people try to make their prose better, they do it the wrong way. They make the language stilted, they add silly descriptions (such as "the mercurial Spaniard"). But, writing is different from speech, and you can learn techniques specifically to make your writing better. I highly recommend Steven Pinker's new book "The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century" http://amzn.to/1LVI7eJ He has many concrete tips for improving your writing.
tokenadult · 2015-07-06 · Original thread
The author of the submitted, um, article (blog post) didn't cover all the ground that could be covered on this issue, because it was an off-hand post. The previous comments here on Hacker News prompt me to bring up one more issue: even if we follow tradition and call "the" an "article" (as I was taught at some point in my schooling), we have the interesting situation that some languages, even in the Indo-European language family, have no expressed definite article at all. Latin didn't have one, and Russian doesn't have one. Definite reference in Latin, in Russian, and in many non-Indo-European languages (all the various Sinitic languages that are jointly called "Chinese" immediately come to mind) is indicated by means other than a dedicated word such as "the." Because languages can do perfectly well without words like "the" and "a" as those words are used as articles in English, perhaps it is not so shocking that modern grammarians prefer different category names for those words.

My eighth grade English class was innovative in that it used a textbook based on phrase-structure transformational grammar to teach me a lot of my English grammar. I would be glad to see books like that (modernized based on further linguistic research since the 1960s when the book was published) used in classrooms today. The "traditional" grammar poorly taught in the United States is based on an Indo-European grammatical tradition that is not completely lousy for teaching native speakers of Latin how to read and write Greek, but it has never been well suited for teaching analysis of English to native speakers or foreign-language learners of English. English has many grammatical features that are poorly described by the grammatical traditional of school lessons in English-speaking countries.

For further reading on this point, see Steven Pinker's excellent new book The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.[1] For a better than average treatment of this point on Wikipedia, see the article "English language,"[2] which was updated to "good article" status during the most recent Wikipedia Core Contest, and is actually pretty decent for a Wikipedia article, with lots of references to good-quality reference books about the English language.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/The-Sense-Style-Thinking-Persons/dp/06...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language

markrages · 2015-05-19 · Original thread
There's a chapter on this in Steven Pinker's English style book. You might enjoy it.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Sense-Style-Thinking-Persons/dp/06...

portman · 2014-12-29 · Original thread
Reminds me of Steven Pinker's recently-published book on how to write well, "The Sense of Style" [1]

Pinker uses software terms to describe good writing: convert a _web_ of ideas into a _tree_ of syntax into a _string_ of words.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/dp/0670025852

I just read Steven Pinker's "The Sense of Style" and found it to be an excellent resource on this topic.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Sense-Style-Thinking-Person%C2%92s...

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