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Writing Style Guide

Sometimes I think I should make a writing style guide for the sole purposes of communicating that some of my style decisions are deliberate, including some that are 180˚s from my own previous policies (for example, I’ve become less hesitant towards starting paragraphs with “But” since I find that can increase clarity and reduce misunderstanding).

Another more recent change that I’m trying to adapt is moving parentheticals to after one step up in the syntactic structure. For example, putting them at the end of a sentence or clause as opposed to my previous policy of jamming them in just after the phrase they’re modifying. My old style would often lead to (like in this deliberately bad example) straggler words after the parenthetical. My new style would move that parenthecal to the end of the sentence (like this).

In Swedish, this isn’t a particularly new thing, but I’ve been writing “de/dem” as “dom” except in a context where another style guide is expected, like when looking for a job or something. 1970s style.

One of my language teachers in high school was a huge hater of comma before “and” or “but”, both in serial and in clause contexts, but I like it, depending on the other needs of the sentence’s cadence.♥ He would always blanket 's/, and/ and/g' but I just disagree with that.

I’ve also been taught to avoid cliché and repeating phrases, and to omit needless words, but I’ve since found that relying on them and finding a toolbox of good phrases can make texts way clearer. For example, the word “instead” is underrated. When I was omitting it, I would find that people often interpreted me as saying the exact opposite of what I meant.