Business Writing

Talk, tips, and best picks for writers on the job.

Syntax Training | Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

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May 11, 2017


Ellen Wynkoop

Love the new look! Very can relax now.

I appreciate reading your constructive writing tips and tricks every time they land in my email box. Thank you.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Ellen,

Thanks for taking the time to share a compliment. I appreciate you!


Pat Kirshenbaum

Hi Lynn-
I really relate to suggestion #10 -- let someone else read your work. I spent many years as an elementary teacher before changing fields. I was always lucky to have great partners that could help me gauge the tone of my writing -- especially if it was a parent that was getting on my nerves (and yes, that does happen!)I continue to rely on others at times to read emails to make things clear and to have the right tone.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Thanks for elaborating on #10, Pat, and for admitting your humanity.

Your point made me think about the other side of the communication. Sometimes it can help to have others read a seemingly hostile email we RECEIVE. They may be able to help us see that the message is less harsh than we imagine.


Tamara D. Davis

This, by far, is my favorite post of yours. I am a huge believer of compassionate and warm communication in any form. Thank you for a much needed post.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Tamara, thank YOU for that great, specific feedback.



I love this: "When you are hurt or angry, write a retaliatory message in your mind"! Do you do this often? I think it's even more satisfying to actually write it! And then, of course, do the right thing.

I think #2 is also valid in verbal communication, it's actually really effective, you can see appreciation in the eyes of your party in converse, especially if it's the first time you meet each other.

I like #3 because I already felt that way about my automatic signature: it's cold. However, I never dared adding just my name, it seemed odd. Now that you say so, I'll start doing it right away!

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Deborah,

I'm glad you like these points. I agree with you about the satisfaction of writing the retaliatory message. I don't do it because it takes too much time to get the hostile tone just right! I'd rather rant in my mind for a few moments and then move on, if possible.

I've been using my first name above my signature block forever. I believe the gesture evolved from signing my first name in letters and notes, wanting to warm up the message.

Thanks so much for commenting.


Jessica Thornton

This was a great reminder about email etiquette. Thanks for posting.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Jessica, thanks for letting me know you appreciated it.


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