Here’s one question you really need to answer correctly: Is it “bare with me” or “bear with me?” Choose wisely. Otherwise, your email to a coworker saying, “bare with me,” could inadvertently be inviting them to shed their clothes alongside you. Yikes! The correct answer is: Bear with me. And the...
Contractions in business writing… to use or not to use… that is the question. The art of business writing challenges you to strike that perfect balance between sounding friendly and approachable while maintaining a high level of professionalism. Contractions can be a useful tool to help you do just that....
You use them every day in spoken English. Pick up a magazine or read an article online—you’ll see one or more somewhere on the page. Split infinitives are everywhere and widely accepted—yet they are still surrounded by controversy. So, is it OK to break the archaic rules on using...
When you hear the term “abstract,” what comes to mind? A painting by Jackson Pollock? And if you hear the word “concrete,” what’s the first thing you think of? A foundation? Or a sidewalk? Your brain pulled these answers quickly. Why? Because you are most familiar with these words...
You’ve perfected your resume and are ready to start sending it out. However, writing the cover letter is proving to be a bit challenging. You want to attract the attention of a potential employer immediately. And the cover letter is how you can make that happen… or fall flat....
Business writing is useful in various contexts, but its primary purpose is to receive a business response. In other words, it is writing that deals with business, whether it's reaching out to customers or employees, and getting a response back relevant to whatever business the writing deals with. A...
When you're writing a business letter, especially to colleagues or other people in your field, you may tend to write in a very dry, jargon-filled manner. Though you may not be able to avoid the jargon trap in this case, there is another trap that you can jump over...
Are you a freelancer who wants clients out there to know about what you have to offer? Despite your hard work to promote yourself, you still may be struggling to capture potential customers' attention. Attracting the companies you need with your writing is not rocket science, but there are definitely tricks...
As an English major in college, I had only one English department class that I did not do well in: I got a C in linguistics, a required class. Phonemes, bilabial fricatives—they bored me to tears. How I wish the text had been this new book by David Shariatmadari:...
Which error did you see most often in 2019? Was it a missing comma? A misplaced or missing apostrophe? A lack of subject-verb agreement? A word used incorrectly? The error I found most often in work projects—especially copyediting presentations and manuscripts—is described below, with one bonus error.  The error is...