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Tools and the writer

August 16, 2010

A bad workman blames his tools. How does that work for writers? We use tools, pens, word processors, some of us still use typewriters.  But there are other tools on which we can overly rely: the MS Word spellchecker (dangerous), the MS Word grammar checker (much better). Third party tools, such as a thesaurus. And of course the most basic, but most valuable of all: a dictionary. ‘What a comfort a dictionary is!’ said Lewis Carroll. And for the business writer, it is a real comfort.  It is the finest discipline in writing to pull out the dictionary and check the accuracy of our usage. More thoughts on tools to come.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 1, 2010 15:33

    Here is an example of a bad writer blaming her tools:
    If she wrote ‘I logged on first because the instructions lead me to believe that I had to do it that way.’ I might point out to her that she should have written ‘led’ here instead of ‘lead’. If she tried to deny responsibility by saying that she spellchecked her work, she would be blaming that tool for failing to do something it cannot do – distinguishing between the correct usage of ‘lead’ and ‘led’.

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