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Writing for Idiots–Not In This Blog!

Lately people have been visiting this site in search of "idiot’s" advice. Yesterday someone was looking for "condolences for idiots." Earlier in the week there were searches for "proofreading for idiots" and "an idiot’s guide to business writing and reports."

I do write about condolences, proofreading, and business writing–but not for "idiots." Despite the huge success of the "Complete Idiot’s" and "Dummies" series, I won’t use that approach. Also, I won’t buy those books or recommend them. Why not? Because I am not an idiot or a dummy. Also:

Because language has power.

The words idiot, dummy, jerk, and imbecile stink of negativity. They suggest stupidity, helplessness, folly, and waste.

I will happily write for a beginner, novice, learner, student, apprentice, seeker, amateur, and trainee. I’m pleased to write for a future expert, authority, specialist, professional, and whiz.

Words matter. They color our world. In business writing classes, when people say they want to practice writing to "complaining customers," I ask them to write to the "valued customers upon whose existence their job depends." When people write, "Let’s meet to talk about the problem," I suggest, "Let’s meet to find the solution."

Be an expert, a gem, and a winner! Work effectively for solutions, break-throughs, answers, innovations, prosperity, and success!

Now, don’t you feel brilliant? I know I do.

Other search spellings: psoitive, posative, langage, languege

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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.

2 comments on “Writing for Idiots–Not In This Blog!”

  • Lynn: Great post. And your poetic justice will be that now that you HAVE written about idiots, you will get even more people searching for them. The internet brings us closer to our friends and strangers!

    I like the variety of topics you tackle.

  • Lisa, you have been my inspiration! Thanks for leading the way with your Management Craft blog and the many other creative things you do.

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