The other day I was parked at the post office, when I noticed a woman walking a dachshund. At the corner the dog stopped walking. The woman gently tugged the leash, but the dog did not budge. It just stood there in the sun. Then it lay down on...
We deal with email addresses and website addresses (URLs) every day, but how should we render them in sentences? Stuart, a reprographics officer in Dorset, England, suggested I write on this topic. It is an excellent idea, and I am happy to offer guidance. Here are guidelines on how...
A couple of weeks ago I noticed that email I was expecting was not arriving. I was waiting to receive email replies from a couple of specific clients, but, oddly, they did not appear. To add to the mystery, my husband Michael, who works at the next desk, was...
I just received an excellent tip on how to avoid accidentally sending an email reply in Outlook. The tip is thanks to Darek, who attended Better Business Writing last week. Here is the tip: When you are writing an email reply, type some gibberish (nonsensical information) in the CC...
Today I led a seminar called Email Intelligence with 22 people at the Port of Seattle. Like many of us, Port employees and managers get lots of email on countless topics from all kinds of people both inside and outside their organization. About 70 percent of participants in the...
While teaching business writing in South Carolina this week, I learned two tips for better replies in email. With thanks to Mandi and Amy, here are their two good suggestions. 1. When you reply, do not introduce a new topic. Illustration: In Mandi's work, she often sends an email...
In a business writing class this week, a woman made an excellent suggestion in response to the question "Are smiley faces acceptable in email?" Before I share her fine idea, let me state that I have never included a smiley face in an email, and I probably never will....
Today I received good spell-checking advice in an email from Attorney Weston M. Binford, Jr., CPA. He pointed out that spell-check in Microsoft Word 2003 ignores any text with a number in it, therefore not catching an error like this: Retur4nsExperimenting, he realized:Apparently any numberinsertedmakes7itokIt turns out that spell-check...
I'm always thinking about ways to help people send email that's more effective. My latest idea is AAAAA email. A - Accurate subject line (not outdated, not too general) A - Action is requested near the beginning (not at the end) A - Accessible information (not buried in thick paragraphs) A...
We have all had the experience of someone misinterpreting our email. Perhaps we were sarcastic, and our reader viewed the message as serious. Maybe we thought we were being funny, and the other person read us as angry. This type of miscommunication happens often in email--perhaps more often than...