"I use PDDT in my training program for media corporations. It's seen by the top executives at Arnold WorldWide and Modernista!, two of the most successful marketing communications firms in the country, as a vital part of their in-house training programs ... A VERY VALUABLE TOOL." John C. Verret, president, Verret and Associates, and former president and managing partner, Arnold WorldWide "PDDT is a must for all companies because good writing is so critical to success. ... It is marvelous ... clear and precise." Chris Komisarjevsky, retired worldwide president and CEO, Burson-Marsteller
"PDDT is an outstanding summary of the common mistakes that plague students and professionals alike. It is a valuable resource, widely used by our faculty in this department of over 900 students." Professor Barton Carter, chair, Department of Mass Communication, Advertising and Public Relations, Boston University
"For the past decade, PDDT has been a helpful writing teacher and the recommended style guide for all papers done each year by the graduate students in our seven graduate programs." Dr. Erik Goldstein, chair, International Relations Department, Boston University
Compatible with Associated Press Stylebook
Note from the Author, 4
I. Punctuation, 5
A. The comma B. The period
C. Ellipses D. The semicolon E. The colon F. The dash
G. The hyphen H. The exclamation point
II. Grammar, 14
A. It, its and its B. Differ from, differ with, different than C. Affect and effect D. Fewer and less
E. More than/over, and less than/under F. Is it "I," is it "me" G. "On track" or "untracked"? H. Which witch is which (or that)?
III. Citing Publications, Articles, Plays, Programs and Films, 19
A. When to italicize B. Reverse italics C. When to use quote marks D. Contractions
IV. Malaprops, Gibberish and Other Wrong Words, 21
A. "Feeling" badly or bad B. "Believe," "feel" or "think"
C. Dont "try and do" D. "Impact" is not a verb E. Avoid "he/she" construction F. Avoid change of voice or tense
G. "Data" is plural H. Beware of "only" I. Is it the "United States," "America," the "USA"?
V. Keep It Tight. Get It Right. Avoid Flabby Prose, 24
A. A better way to say it B. Just because you mean because C. Avoid the pedantic and stuffy. D. Precision and tightness E. Redundancy F. Avoid the vague
VI. Numbers, Capitalization and a Few Other Goodies to Remember, 28
A. Spelling vs. numbers B. Avoid using too many numbers C. Never start sentences with figures D. Do not use apostrophes with decades E. Capitalization
VII. Jargon, Passive Voice and Other Obfuscation, 31
A. Clarity B. Passive versus active voice C. Obfuscation
VIII. Some "Really Neat" Tips to Improve Your Writing, 33
A. Follow the example of good journalists B. Do a quick sketch outline C. When in doubt, leave it out D. Avoid starting with "there is" E. Perfect practice makes perfect
F. Dont ask questions, provide answers G. Proofread carefully H. Save it for a rainy day I. Keep it simple, precise, concise J. Work hard at writing
John J. Schulz (Ph.D. Oxford University, England) is professor of international communication at Boston University and prior to that worked as a foreign correspondent, senior editor and deputy news director at the Voice of America.
Copyright 2008 / 36 pp. / 3.5 x 7 inches / Side Saddle Stapled / ISBN 978-0-922993-87-1 / $3.95