Skip to content

A Word to Forget–Please!

Minutes ago I picked up my home phone. The “caller” was a recorded message. The unheeding voice said, “We hope you are enjoying our holiday catazine you received in the mail.”


Of course! It must be a combination catalog-magazine. And here I had thought it was only a catalog from our 11-year-old daughter’s favorite store.

To see what I had missed, I just walked into the living room and flipped through the pile of what I had thought were catalogs. I found  our daughter’s favorite. Let’s see . . . no fiction, no features, no greetings from the editor, no reader letters, no classifieds, no advice column–just pictures of clothes and baubles for sale to young girls and their parents.

Catazine? Nope, it’s a catalog. Until it changes, let’s refuse to call it anything else.

Posted by Avatar photo
By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.