Today I received an unsolicited email with this as the close: Can you identify what's wrong with it? Think about what you would change before scrolling down to my ideas.                                I'd change several things. But what's definitely wrong is the capitalization. Only the first word of the complimentary close should be capitalized....
You work against deadlines. Often you have to write quickly, even when the message is complex and somewhat delicate. It’s not surprising that you occasionally come across as abrupt when you thought you were being efficient. This problem is especially true in email. For the past few weeks, I've been...
I received a delightful note when I found my seat at the Arena Stage Theater in Washington, D.C., last week. I was on vacation and visiting the theater for the first time.  An envelope addressed to Ms. Lynn Gaertner-Johnston lay propped on my upturned seat. Inside it were two small...
Do you recognize no-win situations, where your writing is doomed to fail? Read below to keep yourself out of trouble. Sometimes when we write, a little voice tells us the communication is going to go wrong. In business writing classes people have admitted, "I had doubts about sending that email"...
Marketing expert Marcia Yudkin, author of No-Hype Copywriting: The Keys to Lively, Appealing, and Truthful Sales Writing, wrote her weekly email on a topic dear to my heart: lazy emails. With her permission, I quote her message in its entirety.   Do You Write Lazy Emails? By Marcia Yudkin Twice last week, I...
This interesting question arrived in my email this morning:  I am a recent college graduate who regularly communicates with managers over email. At least once a week I receive an email with the opener “I apologize for the delay in replying,” followed by an explanation for the late response. How should...
If you write to customers, clients, employees, or almost anyone on the job, you have times when you need to assert yourself. You have to disagree, delegate, instruct, remind, and say no—in each situation coming across as clear and forceful without pushing into rudeness. The tips below can help...
If you are human, you face situations during your workday that require you to write under pressure. Maybe you have to respond to an angry employee's email. Maybe you seriously disagree with a coworker and need to put your reasons in writing. Or you may have to share constructive...
Deb Arnold of Deb Arnold, Ink. is a terrific businesswoman and one of my favorite people. We met a few years ago through an introduction from our mutual friend, consultant Ron Scott. Ron introduced us by email like this: Subject: Introduction Lynn and Deb, I am pleased to introduce you two. Lynn,...
This complex question came in yesterday's email: What is the proper way to address a letter with several addressees in the same letter, but the gender of one or more is unknown? Normally the greeting would be “Dear Misses. So-and-so,” and “Dear Messrs. So-and-so,” but what if the gender of...