Posts By: Christina M. Frey

Christina M. Frey

The Writer’s Toolbox – Trailing Away, Part II

In last week’s installment we looked at how ellipses and em dashes are used in dialogue to show faltering speech and interrupted or broken off speech, respectively. In this follow-up column, we’ll explore how writers can use punctuation to convey two more types of dialogue: staccato speech and stuttering speech. Staccato Speech Staccato speech is… Read more »

The Writer’s Toolbox – Trailing Away

Most students recognize ellipses when the triple dots are used to cover omitted text in a quotation. But what happens when ellipses are used outside an academic or nonfiction context and represent omitted verbal text, as in faltering or trailing-away speech in fiction dialogue? In this case they’re often referred to as suspension points, and… Read more »

The Writer’s Toolbox – The Media is the Message

Marshall McLuhan famously wrote, “The medium is the message.” But try to turn that iconic phrase into plural form, and it just sounds odd. The media are the message? The media is the message? This week we’ll take a look at medium, media, and how an originally plural form is making its way back into… Read more »

The Writer’s Toolbox – No “S” in Team

Got plans this weekend? Whether they involve watching grown men fight over a ball, enjoying cute puppy tricks, or laughing at commercials and downing snacks, chances are you won’t be giving a whole lot of thought to spelling, grammar, and usage. And to be fair, explaining the proper use of hyphens with sports event names… Read more »

The Writer’s Toolbox – Oh No! Part II

In last week’s Toolbox installment, we looked at when to add a comma after the exclamatory oh or ah, as in “Oh no!” (no comma) and “Oh, come on” (comma required). The general rule, according to The Chicago Manual of Style, is to use the comma unless the oh or ah forms part of a… Read more »

The Writer’s Toolbox – Oh No!

Sometimes the littlest things can drive a writer?and an editor?around the bend. You want to ensure the text is as readable as possible, and that means consistency and fluidity. But It’s not always so easily achievable, is it? The other week I spent longer than I’d care to admit obsessing over whether to put a… Read more »

The Writer’s Toolbox – Judgment Day

New year, new start, new perspective?and fitting that I’d spend time this month using my past knowledge to help shape the future of literature. Fitting, too, that I’d get back just as much as I gave. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are all about recognizing the young people who are the voice of the… Read more »

The Writer’s Toolbox – Write On

There’s a chance this may be the final issue of The Voice Magazine?the final in a run That’s lasted more than two decades and that has given readers a wonderful glimpse into the lives and interests of their fellow students. A run, too, That’s helped launch the careers of several former Voice writers, and has… Read more »

The Writer’s Toolbox – No Expert

Whenever a friend or family member has a question about grammar, spelling, usage, or language, they come to me. Sometimes I know the answer. Sometimes I don’t. “Oh, but You’re the expert,” they say. “I will be after I look it up,” I reply. Editors are often seen as keepers of a sacred trust?as gurus… Read more »