It's the season of graduations and weddings, wonderful opportunities to celebrate graduates' accomplishments and individuals' commitments to one another.  If you are a recent or soon-to-be bride, groom, or graduate, congratulations! Life is just beginning for you in many ways. One of the ways people celebrate your new life is...
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...
Texting customers, colleagues, clients, and others is mainstream business behavior. But with regular use, there can be abuse. Don’t text just because you can. Text because people want or need to hear from you, and make the messages convenient for them—not just for yourself. Review the 10 tips below, and then...
Our six-year-old neighbor brought his Pokémon card game over for a playdate the other night. As our daughter read aloud the instructions on a card, the grammar caught my attention. Do you notice it too?    "Your opponent puts a card from his or her hand on the bottom of his or her deck."...
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...
I led a class for a group of writers who respond to citizen complaints about airplane noise. The writers cannot make the planes quieter, and they can't make them go away. What can they do? They can respond in ways that help citizens feel heard and helped. When you can't give...
The other day I participated in an online chat about cats being allowed to roam free in our neighborhood. Opinions for and against piled up minute by minute, with some people expressing strong views. Reading the comments, I noticed this one:  I'm sorry you were offended by my tone. The passive...
The other day I met my friend Barb for lunch. She arrived at the restaurant first, and the server asked, “Just one?” Barb often eats out alone, and she frowns when she hears that question. This time she replied, “Here is where I should have a snappy comeback, but I...
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....
Do you need help starting and ending networking conversations at professional meetings? You may appreciate the tips below. Although not a business writing topic, the information can help you communicate more confidently at business events.   To overcome worries about being energetic while going it alone: Take a buddy to events....