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....
In this month's Better Writing at Work newsletter, I wrote about the value of apologizing. In the lead article, "The Power of Saying 'I'm Sorry,'" I noted the power of apologizing to free us to move on and to free the other person of bad feelings. I also offered...
Every once in a while I find a communication habit I would really like other people to break. Here's one: the use of the former and the latter. Every time I hear or read "the former . . . the latter" I have to rethink or reread what has...
I've been involved in business writing long enough to remember when a "cc" was actually a carbon copy. I remember the messy blue of the carbon paper showing up on snowy white objects such as a new blouse or crisp business envelopes. I even remember mimeograph machines. Do you?...
I've been getting requests for tips on how to write an apology, and I am happy to oblige. For every piece I write--whether it's a report, a thank you, a proposal, a recommendation, a resume, a request, or an apology--I think about my reader's questions. These are the questions...
On Saturday I received a glowing email from Scott in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, who offered several compliments on this blog. Among the detailed praise were words I loved reading: "well worth my time," "exceptionally well written," and "thank you for the considerable effort that you put forth in maintaining...
Email has become such a communication lifeline that it's hard to imagine not answering it promptly. When we are away from the office for even a day or two, we want people to receive a response from us. We shudder to imagine not sending a response for an entire...
Yesterday someone visited this site with an interesting search. The words in the person's query were "linking mission statements with email etiquette."  Those words immediately got my attention. What do mission statements have to do with email? I think there's a strong link. The link may not be obvious...
Since my "With Best Wishes" post on January 21, someone wrote asking "Is it okay to end a professional letter with Best?" That's an interesting question. What do you think? So many questions have two answers--one involving our personal preferences and the other looking at what is standard in...