This page is devoted to occasional comments, not published elsewhere, about the theory and practice of good writing.

Clicking a title will open the comment in a new window.

Anti-Vietnam war party
Unruly hyphens


Redundant or not?

Full disclosure
The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

1.4.13 (slightly amended 4.4.13)

Stressful ambiguity
How words can be clear in speech (and in the mind's ear) but not in writing

23.2.12 (updated 3.9.12)

Professionalizing plain language:
A critique of PLAIN and Clarity's project to define, set the standard for, and regulate plain language

Introduction & Part 1: What is a profession?
20.5.11 (slightly amended 6.6.11)

Part 2: Can we certify plain language practitioners and create an institute?
2.6.11 (updated 26.6.11)

Part 3: Should we …?
6.6.11 (updated 26.6.11)

Judging styles
Justice Watt's controversial manner

7.4.11 (slightly amended 20.6.11; link to the case report updated 16.9.13)

To unnecessarily split
Why do split infinitives feel wrong, though even the prescriptivists say they aren't?


What is plain language
when there's more than one egg on the wall?

Why "plain" isn't plain


Best Practice is bad practice