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SQL Man of Mystery

Wes Brown is a PASS chapter leader and SQL Server MVP. He writes for SQL Server Central and maintains his blog at http://www.sqlserverio.com. Wes is Currently serving as a Senior Lead Consultant at Catapult Systems. Previous experiences include Product Manager for SQL Litespeed by Quest software and consultant to fortune 500 companies. He specializes in high availability, disaster recovery and very large database performance tuning. He is a frequent speaker at local user groups and SQLSaturdays.

OT: Rewriting History

I’ve been blogging for a few months. During that time I’ve received comments about my grammar, sentence construction and paragraph construction. I have taken this criticism to heart. I have only had two specific comments about my writing style so I have a point to start from. Like most of you, I do not write for a living. I do write every day of my life. I have had basic writing instruction during my high school an college days, but nothing during my time as a professional. The most training I’ve ever had communicating to others has been in the form of speech and theater. I have had some success as a speaker, and I feel very good about that end of my skill set.

So, I am attempting to correct this lack of education the only way I know how. I did some research and came up with three books to start my literary education.

The Elements of Style
My wife tells me this is a must.

 

On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
This one looked good and I’ve enjoyed reading it so far.

 

Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
I have listened to the pod cast before I thought it was fine so I got the book.

The great thing about a blog is it isn’t as static as a printed book. As I learn I can make revisions to the articles. I can make revisions to correct the broken bits and make them easier to read.

If you have any recommendations leave them in the comments section and I’ll give it a read. I’ll also try to learn something in the process!

 

UPDATE:

A couple of friends that write also suggested

Woe Is I (Expanded Edition) [WOE IS I (EXPANDED EDITION) EX]

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Merriam-Webster's Everyday Language Reference Set: Vocabulary Builder/Thesaurus/Dictionary

All three are on the way!

Comments

Posted by AspiringGeek on 11 October 2009

Good for you!

Brent Ozar did a good job on this topic:

www.brentozar.com/.../blog-better-week-strunk-whites-elements-of-style

Posted by Wesley Brown on 12 October 2009

I'm a big believer in always trying to improve yourself.

I enjoy blogging and think if you are going to do something then do it well.

I'm following you on Twitter now too :).

Posted by Steve Jones on 12 October 2009

I'd go with the one that you enjoy. You'll at least read it then. If that works, tackle another one. Also, ask friends, managers, etc. See if they think your writing has improved.

Posted by Hugo Shebbeare on 15 October 2009

Well done Wes! I've been re-reading Elements of Style since blogging here too. It's on the top of my list, since ingrained from the visting Boston University profs in Brussels at http://www.vesalius.edu

Posted by Mark Weaver on 15 April 2013

Awesome!  Lately it seems that people have begun to become offended at the idea that they should be expected to craft a decent sentence, as though good grammar was somehow "out of fashion."  Using a language is like using tools well.  Imagine a hobbyist trying to sell his handmade toys at a craft fair.  Prospective customers approach and notice that his wares are rough, poorly painted, and fall apart easily.  Is it right that he should become offended when his toys are snubbed?  Thanks again!

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