Dear Reader, If I knew your name, I would use it--either with the greeting "Dear" or in the first sentence of any message I write to you. The same would be true if I phoned you. I would say hello and use your name in the first words out...
Two days ago I posted 12 suggestions about responding to anger and insults in writing. I included an example of a hostile message and asked readers to think about how they would respond to it. Here is my response: I am very sorry about the mistake. It makes me...
I published my October newsletter this afternoon, and I have already had eight people write to comment on it. When I write about how to edit or how to write faster, I may get eight comments over the entire month! That's why I know the topic "Dealing With Anger...
People who attend writing classes often say they want their writing to sound more professional. Sometimes they believe that big words are more impressive, and they are looking for ways to choose bigger and better words. But big words are simply bigger--not better. Here are five simple ways to...
Is it appropriate to use email to fire someone? Would you like to learn that your job has been eliminated from a few typed words on a monitor screen? Last week RadioShack Corporation used email to inform 403 employees that their jobs had been eliminated, according to an article...
Lately I have been getting email with questions about addressing married doctors:What is the proper way to address a letter to a husband and wife who are both doctors? If a married doctor couple has the same last name, what goes on the envelope? What if the doctors have...
Can you imagine a rental car agency earning customer loyalty through writing? It happened on Sunday. I flew into Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on my way to teach business writing to sales managers in north suburban Chicago. After baggage claim, I was off to pick up my rental car. I...
Last week I taught Email Intelligence for a favorite client company. When I asked for additions to my 25 rules for email etiquette and efficiency, I got eight good suggestions. Here, with my elaboration, is an excellent suggestion to make email more efficient for your reader: When you send an...
In a recent Better Business Writing class, a participant introduced himself as a "flamer." Although many people in writing classes have complained about flaming, no one had ever identified himself or herself as a person who flames. To have an actual flamer in class was an instructive experience for...
If you use other people's business writing as models, you may wonder whether it is acceptable to use double or triple question marks and exclamation marks. After all, you have probably seen examples like this one: I love the new offices!!! Is it acceptable to use two, three, or more...