Five stories that writers should read this week

Editing copy that’s literally etched in stone, flexing your writing muscles, protestor vs. protester, subject-verb number agreement, and more.

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Here it is, your Week in Writing:

Carved in stone. Because of Twitter’s 140-character limit, writers (usually) take care in choosing their words when they tweet. Though tweets may last forever online, they’ve got nothing on more permanent forms of prose. As Roy Peter Clark writes for CNN: “From tattoos to gravestones to the base of monuments, we choose words with special care because we want them to last forever. In a short text, every word counts.” That is especially true when they are carved in stone. Even then, they need careful editing. Clark makes the case for correcting an inscription on the Martin Luther King Memorial.

Trial by letter. Here’s a reminder that writing muscles are often developed through writing exercises. In The Wall Street Journal, author and translator David Bellos describes how perfecting “little squares”—that is, the ability to write 60-character summaries of almost anything—taught him to be a better translator, and a better writer.

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