Business Writing

Signs That Need Your Proofreader's Eye

Business Writing

Even when I am on vacation, I can't turn off my proofreading eyes. The three signs below, which I spotted in Charleston, South Carolina, and Charlotte, North Carolina, got my attention. Can you recognize why? Each sign has at least. Proofreading

2019 239

"I Hope You're Well" as an Email Opener

Business Writing

On Saturday The New York Times ran a humorous column "I Hope You're Well," by Kerry Elson. In case you are unable to access The New York Times online, here are two opening exchanges from the piece: Hi, Robin, Courteous Writing Email Etiquette

2019 141

Poop Sign to Punctuate

Business Writing

Let's imagine that this sign needs perfect punctuation, or dog owners will ignore it. How would you punctuate it? I would add four punctuation marks. What would you do? Please share your version in the comments section. I'll share mine. Proofreading Punctuation Pointers

2019 226

Language That Enslaves Our Thinking

Business Writing

Traveling recently in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, I visited many places that told the story of slavery in the South. From the start, I noticed that presenters used the phrase enslaved people or enslaved person rather than. Gems of Language Teaching Business Writing

2019 180

If You Are a Writer or an Editor, You Need This book

Business Writing

In an earlier post, I promised to review Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style "in a few days." That was more than three weeks ago. I've been savoring the book, making notes on every chapter.

2019 217

Does "Ladies" Belong in a Salutation?

Business Writing

Rob wrote: I thought you might be a helpful sounding board from something I'm experiencing at work. Recently, one of our female executive leaders has been using the word Ladies as a salutation in her emails that include men in. Courteous Writing Email Etiquette

2019 141

A Guide to Gender-Neutral Language

Business Writing

It's LGBTQ Pride month and a good time to start using gender-neutral language if you haven't started already. That's words such as people, folks, everyone, they, them, and their, which do not indicate gender. It's different from the expressions ladies.

2019 153

Read Your Dense Privacy Policy? No, I'll Go Elsewhere

Business Writing

Earlier this month The New York Times published an interactive data-filled article on privacy policies titled "We Read 150 Privacy Policies. They Were an Incomprehensible Disaster." Author Kevin Litman-Navarro performed several analyses. For example, he timed the minutes it took.

2019 151

Use a Thank-You Note to Fix Interview Blunders

Business Writing

At job interviews it's easy to stumble over at least one question, especially if it's unexpected. Interview blunders can cause you to dread following up on your application. But don't lose heart! A thank-you note can remedy the situation. Courteous Writing Etiquette Writing Tips

2019 170

Does Humming Attract Birds? A Punctuation Problem

Business Writing

My friend Eric W., a great sign spotter, sent me this photo for your enjoyment. He asks, "What does it hum?" I ask you, "What is the problem with the heading below?" It's an easy problem for a snowy Monday. Punctuation Pointers Teaching Business Writing

2019 203

Top Grammatical Error of 2018--Do You Avoid It?

Business Writing

When a newspaper makes the mistake on the front page of the sports section, you know an error has spread. The writer, copyeditor, and proofreader all missed it. Can you recognize it? When I saw that error in a Seattle. Frequently Asked Questions Grammar and Usage Teaching Business Writing

2018 205

Five Ways to Clear Up Fuzzy Writing

Business Writing

When writing is fuzzy, perfectly clear ideas come across as vague, illogical, or ambiguous. Don’t let fuzzy writing undermine your brilliant ideas! Great ideas deserve clear expression. Avoid the five don’ts below to communicate clearly with your audience. Don’t.

2019 194

When the Executive Interrupts Your Presentation

Business Writing

A young friend of mine was giving her first presentation in her first professional role. When she was still on the opening slide, a senior executive asked a question. The question threw her off, and she never got back on. Presentations

2019 109

Can You Fix This Error-Filled Email?

Business Writing

Below is a screenshot of the first half of an email invitation I received for a bill-signing event in Seattle. I understood the content and appreciated the invitation, but I couldn't help spotting all the errors. How many do you. Proofreading Punctuation Pointers Teaching Business Writing

2019 141

How to Write for Senior Executives

Business Writing

When you and I don’t work efficiently, we may waste time, money, supplies, and opportunities. But imagine the waste involved when the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and other executives at “C-level” work inefficiently. Beyond the cost of their time, executive.

2019 151

When the Executive Interrupts Your Presentation

Business Writing

A young friend of mine was giving her first presentation in her first professional role. When she was still on the opening slide, a senior executive asked a question. The question threw her off, and she never got back on. Presentations

2019 100

Error or No Error?

Business Writing

I saw this great card designed by Jessica Hogarth at my local supermarket. It's a thank-you card for a teacher. Does it contain an error? If so, where? If not, why not? Do you worry about whether errors are getting. Grammar and Usage Proofreading Punctuation Pointers Teaching Business Writing

2019 141

Great Is Not So Great

Business Writing

I began reading an article by a university president about the school he leads. In the first paragraph, this is what I learned about the university: Most of you know and appreciate what a great university this is, with a. Teaching Business Writing Writing Tips

2019 151

10 Etiquette Tips for Business Text Messages

Business Writing

Texting customers, colleagues, clients, and others is mainstream business behavior. But with regular use, there can be abuse. Don’t text just because you can. Text because people want or need to hear from you, and make the messages convenient for. Courteous Writing Etiquette

How to Write the Interview Thank-You Note

Business Writing

My daughter's friends in college are interviewing for internships and permanent positions. Days after their interviews some of them ask, "Should I have sent a thank-you?" To them I say, Yes! And this blog post will help them--and you--write it.

2019 141

Apostrophe Doubts? Review and Test Yourself.

Business Writing

A dear friend just told me about an embarrassing apostrophe situation she experienced at work. She had just put up a sign with the heading October Birthday's, which listed employee and member birthdays, when someone stopped and stared grimly at. Proofreading Punctuation Pointers

2018 191

Three More "Error Quests" for You

Business Writing

Test your error-finding skills in each of the three short passages below. Each passage has just one error. Passage 1: The purpose of the conversation is to recognize the common ground between members of the Republican Party and the Democrat. Gems of Language Grammar and Usage Proofreading

2019 130

When Auditors Read Your Meeting Minutes

Business Writing

When I teach Meeting Notes Made Easy, I encourage note-takers to record what was done, not what was said. People don't need to know the lengthy he said/she said details. But my friend Heidi, a tax attorney, advised me to. Meeting Notes and Minutes

This Sign Needs Help

Business Writing

I've cropped the store's name and email to save it the embarrassment. I hope the staff takes a proofreading course during closure! How many errors can you find? Lynn Syntax Training. Proofreading

2019 141

A Large Amount of Mistakes

Business Writing

Today I was reading an article online in Forbes. I expect Forbes to produce error-free articles, but an error popped out in this sentence: When you stop to think about it, the sheer amount of websites can also confuse and. Grammar and Usage Proofreading Teaching Business Writing

2019 153

A New York Times Lesson for Business Writers

Business Writing

As an online subscriber and recipient of Sunday delivery, I enjoy the excellent writing in The New York Times. The paper often uses a powerful technique to meet readers' needs: listing and answering the readers' questions. For decades I've been. Teaching Business Writing Writing Tips

2019 151

"They" Pulls Ahead in the Language Game

Business Writing

Our six-year-old neighbor brought his Pokémon card game over for a playdate the other night. As our daughter read aloud the instructions on a card, the grammar caught my attention. Do you notice it too? Your opponent puts a card. Etiquette Grammar and Usage

2018 214

Paragraphs--Not a Brick Wall, Not a Pile of Bricks Either

Business Writing

Most bad paragraphing involves big walls of text. Readers see those walls and turn away. They move around the wall to shorter paragraphs and bullet points, things that appear to be easier to comprehend. Those big walls of text may. Teaching Business Writing Writing Tips

2019 141

Over Their Heads and Far From Their Comprehension

Business Writing

Marcia Yudkin's excellent "Marketing Minute" arrived in my inbox today. It included an important reminder about jargon. Marcia gave me permission to share this guest post with you. Over Their Heads and Far From Their Comprehension By Marcia Yudkin. Teaching Business Writing Writing Tips

2019 151

A Spelling Test for You

Business Writing

I am enjoying Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style. Author Benjamin Dreyer, copy chief of Random House, included a chapter titled "Notes on Easily Misspelled Words." Thinking you will enjoy the challenge, I offer a spelling. Proofreading Spellchecking

2019 141

Incarcerated but Not Hyphenated

Business Writing

I received an invitation to a professional meeting focused on hiring "formerly-incarcerated talent (FIT)." FIT--that's a catchy acronym. But what caught my attention more was the unnecessary use of the hyphen. Did you notice it? These are formerly incarcerated (not.

2019 151

Do Graduates, Brides, and Grooms Write Thank-Yous?

Business Writing

It's the season of graduations and weddings, wonderful opportunities to celebrate graduates' accomplishments and individuals' commitments to one another. If you are a recent or soon-to-be bride, groom, or graduate, congratulations! Life is just beginning for you in many ways.

2018 188

Acronyms and SMEs--Help!

Business Writing

Tim wrote today with an acronym situation he would like to resolve. What do you think about his desire to spell out acronyms and initialisms, even when writing for SMEs (subject-matter experts)? Here is his message: I read your blog. Teaching Business Writing Writing Tips

2019 141

Recommended Book: Unleash the Power of Storytelling

Business Writing

I expect a book on communication—which is what storytelling is—to teach me something new or remind me of truths I had better not forget. Rob Biesenbach’s Unleash the Power of Storytelling: Win Hearts, Change Minds, Get Results surpassed my expectations, Best Picks Books

2018 194

Cuba Is Complicated, But Writing Should Not Be

Business Writing

Cuba is complicated. That's what our guides told us when we asked questions about how things work in the country: Es complicado. Salaries, food, ownership, restoration, politics, global relationships--Todo es complicado. But writing about Cuba should not be complicated. Writers.

2019 141

Another Sign for You to Proofread

Business Writing

My friend Eric W. sent me a sign that needs your proofreading eye. What would you change? Please share your recommendations in a comment. If your company or organization has a sign-making department, suggest that one of its team members. Proofreading

2018 151

Test Your Proofreading Skills

Business Writing

Get your proofreading game on! Three challenges await you. A hint about the number of errors, followed by the solutions, appears at the end of the tests. Test 1: The Note of Thanks Dear Krista; Thank you very much for. Grammar and Usage Proofreading Punctuation Pointers Teaching Business Writing

Skills 205

Proofreading Checklist to Avoid "Oops!" Messages

Business Writing

I just received an "Oops!" email from our beloved, prestigious public television station. When I read the subject line, "Oops! Correction for Rick Steves Preview Screening and Q+A!" I instantly knew what the oops must be: a date error. Indeed, Email Proofreading Teaching Business Writing

2018 164

Should You "Dumb It Down"?

Business Writing

esterday while coaching a scientist on her writing, I suggested that she consider simplifying this wording: “The results of this trial may elucidate the most efficacious intervention strategies.” Can you guess which words I thought were overly. Teaching Business Writing

2018 164

Can Your Writing Pass This Test? Take It to Find Out.

Business Writing

It's easy to fall into bad writing habits at work. Sometimes it's because we are racing. Sometimes it's because we have read enough swollen sentences, obscure acronyms, and endless messages to lower our standards. And sometimes we write on autopilot.

2018 158

Personal, Tangible Greetings: Why and When to Send Them

Business Writing

When is the last time you sent a card or note to a business associate? If it's that long, read on for a nudge and some inspiration. The Case for Tangible Messages Thousands of unread messages fill my email inbox, Courteous Writing Etiquette

2018 153

T-F Test on Formatting Business Letters and Emails

Business Writing

The standards of writing change. What was once correct in business messages now comes across as old-fashioned--or does it? Take this true-false test to check your knowledge of basic formatting standards for business letters and emails. Note: The questions and.

2018 180

Simple, No-Cost Gifts to Give

Business Writing

In many parts of the world, December is a month of giving gifts. On the job, you can give simple gifts this month and every day of the year with very little effort and no cost. Like the smile that. Courteous Writing Etiquette

2018 141