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Cranky Tom’s Writing Tip: If You Have to Use Italics, You’re Not Writing Well
That thought occurred to me as I was looking, for a possible review, at a book coming out later this year. The first sign that something was wrong was when I was 15 pages into it and I still really had no idea of what it was about. (I knew it was about some aspect of modern warfare, but no indication of what this book was bringing to the party.)
But the red warning light came on when the authors started using lots of italicized words. That’s a sure sign that the writing isn’t really doing its job. The more writers use italics to make their points, the less persuasive those points tend to be.
I get hundreds of books a year in the mail. At any given time, I have about 60 to 80 waiting to get their turn. Almost every one eventually gets about 15 to 30 minutes from me to persuade me to stick with it. I’ll usually check the introduction and conclusion before rejecting a book for review. But because I have so many on hand, I really am looking for reasons to put a book down. I realized that italics are one of the signs.
PS--After I wrote the above, another heavily italicized book arrived. It was a deeply troubled tome, trying to be readable but laden with academic clichés.
Btw, I generally only try to review good books. There are so many bad books that there is no reason to call attention to them, unless other people are calling a bad book good.
Actor Mark Wahlberg will be visiting troops overseas to plug Wahlburgers, a fast-casual restaurant chain owned by the actor and his two brothers, Donnie Wahlberg, and chef Paul Wahlberg.
US troops will not burn and pillage like Genghis Khan's hordes as a result of Trump intervening in war crimes cases, Milley says
The U.S. military will not disintegrate into an undisciplined horde following President Donald Trump's recent intervention in three war crimes cases, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley assured lawmakers on Wednesday.
Milley was testifying before the House Armed Services Committee when he was pressed by Iraq war veteran Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) about the president's actions in the cases of former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, retired Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, and retired Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher.
Taliban fighters attempted to fight their way into Bagram Airfield on Wednesday by invading a medical facility just outside of the base's perimeter, a spokesman for Operation Resolute Support said Wednesday.
J.P. Lawrence of Stars and Stripes and Jim LaPorta of Newsweek first reported that the battle lasted for several hours after using car bombs to attack the hospital, which is near the base's northern corner. Helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft were reportedly used to drop ordnance on the hospital.
An armed suspect was taken into custody at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi on Wednesday morning after a brief lockdown period, according to the Texas base's Facebook account.
Though the exact nature of the incident is unclear, base officials wrote that no shots were fired and no injuries were reported.
The new defense bill would create a public database for every complaint made about privatized housing
Among the dozens of requirements outlined in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act is the requirement for the Secretary of Defense to create a public database for privatized housing complaints.
So, that will be... a lot.