A reader named Deborah shared a short email she recently received: Dear Sirs,pls let me have by return the supp docs about yr a.m. invoice because we cannot find our shpm.Thks and rgds How would you feel if you received this message? Would you care that it's riddled with errors?  Let's count...
I just received an "Oops!" email from our beloved, prestigious public television station. When I read the subject line, "Oops! Correction for Rick Steves Preview Screening and Q+A!" I instantly knew what the oops must be: a date error.  Indeed, the email opened "Apologies, there was a date typo in...
As a business writing expert, I should have known that I'd get the wrong response. I had written the email in a way that was easy for me but misleading for my reader, a woman named Lea.  Requesting a tour of a retirement home for my elderly friend, I wrote: Please...
The other night I was traveling from Boston to my home, Seattle. When I arrived at my connection city, Denver, at 7:15 p.m. I received this text message: Your Flight ___ on August 6 from DEN now departs at 11:55 p.m. We're sorry for the delay. Please visit .  The website...
The standards of writing change. What was once correct in business messages now comes across as old-fashioned--or does it? Take this true-false test to check your knowledge of basic formatting standards for business letters and emails. Note: The questions and answers apply to business writing in Canada and...
The other day at my health club I asked an employee what time the bank parking lot was available for club members' use. I knew I could use the bank lot when the bank closed, but I wasn't sure what time that was. The employee responded, "You'll have to...
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...
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...