The Safire Principle—or, How to Avoid Head-Scratching

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Hi, folks, Dave Fessenden here with a bit of writing advice, brought to you by my friend Steve Dunham. A brilliant veteran of the publishing world, Steve has edited books, magazines, newsletters, and even technical manuals, bringing a fresh wind of clarity into the morass of modern verbiage. I often consult him when I am stuck on an editorial issue, and he never fails to help. I recently brought the following conundrum to him, a problem that (surprisingly) I had never encountered before. An author had just sent me a manuscript with this phrase: “Matthew 6:14–16 define . . .”…

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