Tag Archives: editing

Day 147: Bryan Henderson

Grammar is not my strong suit. Neither is spelling for that matter. I regularly receive emails from friends and followers pointing out blunders on my blogs. It doesn’t bother me that they point them out, in fact, I appreciate it. What bothers me is the fact that I commit the mistakes in the first place.

I recently saw a story by Steve Hartman about a man from San Jose, California who has spent the past four years eliminating more than 47,000 instances of “comprised of” on Wikipedia. I had to write this guy a letter. Coincidentally, I discovered he lives less than five miles away from the first house I lived in off of McLaughlin Avenue.

Day 147


I recently learned about your four-year crusade to eradicate “comprised of” from Wikipedia. I have a handful of social projects that have corresponding blogs – I checked them and found that I had committed this error on YearOfGiving.org and AnthonyAndMe.com. Don’t worry though, I went back and changed every instance of “comprised of” to “composed of.” Thank you for your Wikipedia service and for drawing attention to this common mistake.

Best regards,
Reed Sandridge

P.S. I half expect to get this letter back from you with corrections made in red pen!


Day 22: Mr. Zinsser

Photo: pauldrybooks.com

Photo: pauldrybooks.com

It’s scary to write to someone who is internationally known and respected as an expert on writing, but that is what I’m doing today. I’m sending a letter to William Zinsser, author of On Writing Well and former Yale professor. The aforementioned book changed my view of writing more than any other book – and as you might expect, it’s impeccably written.

I half expect to get my letter returned to me, marked up in red pen by the 92-year-old writing authority, showing me how I could have improved my letter. That would be wonderful!


Mr. Zinsser,

Monogramed stationery from Crane & Co.

Monogramed stationery from Crane & Co.

No book on writing has impacted me more than On Writing Well. You’ve inspired me to always be true to myself and what I want to say – challenging me to examine whether every word is doing new and useful work. Thank you – not only for helping me to become a better writer, but also for influencing so many other writers whose work I read.

With admiration and respect,
Reed Sandridge