Econ 479

The Art of Writing, the Science of Economics

Random Rules

  • Ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) have the same adjectival and adverbial form and do not take an -ly ending. Thus, don’t write “firstly,” “secondly,” and so on. And as for “lastly”? No, no, no.
  • By convention, the word “Internet” is capitalized.
  • “not only . . . but also” is a correlative construction that begs for equality on equal sides of the equation. Note that the also can move, but only a little: “A federal tax affects not only consumers but also local governments.” “Not only do tourists spend money in the local economy, providing an important source of income for many people, but governments also rely on sales for revenue.”
  • Use the serial comma: “Manny, Moe, and Jack.” “Friends, Romans, countrymen.” “Larry, Moe, and Curly.”
  • Don’t use the word “feel” to mean anything other than physical sensation. In formal writing, it is not a proper substitute for “believe.”
  • As before: don’t hit the spacebar twice (or, worse, more) at the end of a period. This is a holdover from the old typewriter days; your computer knows to add a little extra spacing at the end of a sentence.

More to come.


Written by gregorymcnamee

February 6, 2008 at 3:50 pm

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