Last week I led a class in Vancouver, British Columbia, for a group of IT (Information Technology) folks. They work in Vancouver for a company headquartered near Seattle. Right now you may be wondering what a group of IT people in Vancouver have to do with the smell in...
Do you look for opportunities to thank your customers? If you have U.S. customers, November 23, Thanksgiving Day, is one of those occasions. Because it is a national holiday not allied with a particular group or religion, Thanksgiving is an excellent time to remember customers and clients. One way to...
A Canadian reader raised a valuable question about an email behavior that seems unprofessional to him. The questionable business writing practice is sending emails in which the subject states the whole, or nearly the whole, message. Here are two examples: Subject: Can you please order toner for the printer?...
In a recent business writing class, we swapped stories of errors that had made us grin. I like this one, which the writer had rendered in bold type: Let me reirritate! Of course, the writer intended "Let me reiterate." But the person who received the message thought reirritate fit just fine....
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...
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...
A reader wrote to ask for help on writing a thank you to her coworkers, who were extremely supportive when her son died tragically in an accident. I am very sorry for her and her family's terrible loss, and I know that writing such a thank you can be...
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...