Tameri Guide for Writers
For creative writers, editors, teachers, and students
In 2011, the AP Stylebook adopted email, replacing e-mail as the standard. A year earlier, AP accepted the American Copy Editors Society (ACES) recommendation that website replace Web site.
The Tameri website provides suggestions to writers, editors, instructors, and students. Our website covers the writing, editing, formatting, and marketing of literary and dramatic works. Although we include “academic writing” issues, we would suggest other resources to explore those. Because our focus is writing for popular audiences, some suggestions do not apply to academic settings; we try to explain the reasons for our recommendations accordingly.
Our site concentrates on content, so expect a lot of text.
For Writers First
Advice for mass-market writers
We created this site with authors in mind and continue to focus on writing for general audiences. Articles in the Tameri Guide for Writers reflect our experiences as professional writers and editors. Some teachers have complained that our choices are not “proper” for their students. It is reasonable for an instructor to remind students that an academic setting is not the same as writing in other contexts. If you are a student, use any grammar and style guides endorsed by your instructors.
Be aware that we post documents as we write, meaning there are incomplete pages on this site. Also, some pages will have errors as they go through the editing process. If you locate an error, please contact us. Even a text on writing is imperfect.
The truth is that there are grumpy grammar geeks who manage to argue with each other endlessly. We know that battles are waged over split infinitives and sentences ending with prepositions. English rules are relatively new, created by men and women who wanted a “proper” English grammar. The rules anyone decides to accept are often a matter of preference. We claim no authority other than the fact the rules we cite are those we have encountered while working as writers and editors.
If you want to challenge an editor or instructor, buy a really heavy and impressive book like Bryan A. Garner’s Modern American Usage [Amazon.com]. We also recommend other resources for information. See our list of suggested books for writers and editors.
Popular Tameri Article Topics
Links to the most-visited pages
The following are the most popular sections of the Tameri Guide for Writers. For a complete list of topics, see our site map.
Grammar and Mechanics
Spelling and Usage
As mentioned above, we strongly encourage visitors to rely on other sources for academic writing guidelines. We value citations and proper formatting, but the rules are not our expertise. We suggest consulting the current editions of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers and the Publication Manual of the APA when composing and formatting academic papers. Online, we suggest the Purdue Online Writing Lab as a resource for students and instructors.
Other Useful Pages
We Happen to Be Right Sometimes
Grammar rules are not laws
Many of the “corrections” we receive are incorrect or matters of personal style. The style guides and manuals of organizations such as Modern Language Association and the Associated Press are updated on a regular basis. When there is a conflict between sources, we have to select one as the best answer for this guide. That does not mean the guideline we offer via the Tameri Guide for Writers is the only answer, only our preference for mass market media.
One source of confusion has been our use of the semicolon (;). A semicolon joins two independent (“main”) clauses. Several visitors have suggested wrongly that such sentences are “run-on” and should be edited. No, the clauses relate closely and we believe using semicolons indicates clearly that the clauses should be thought of together. We also use commas more liberally than many current texts suggest. This might be because instead of misusing commas it is easier to omit them. Most English usage guides are moving towards fewer “mandatory” uses for commas.
If you do have a complex correction or suggestion, it is helpful if you include an academic source for the correction. Also, you should include the Web page URL from the Tameri Guide that needs to be updated.
About the Tameri Website
We are selling something…
Yes, this site promotes our editing and writing services. While we provide the information here for free, we also expect that some people want to hire editors and writers. Our services range from basic editing to advanced technical writing.
We also owe a debt of gratitude to those students and interns who helped with research and page layout over the years: E. Coker, A. Long, N. Goncharova, M. Toledo, and K. Watrus.
We began assembling the information appearing on this website for our personal use. As writers, we often want to double check grammar, usage, and even proper formatting. Using the Web as an organizational tool seemed logical, allowing us to access the information from anywhere.
This website is maintained by S. D. Schnelbach and C. S. Wyatt. If you experience any problems with the site, please let us know by sending a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Citing the Tameri Guide Website
Any citation referring to the Tameri website must name both editors.