I recently led a Better Business Writing class for a corporate tax department. It was a highly educated group--people with MBAs, master's degrees in taxation, and other impressive credentials. I am happy to say that they were educated and sophisticated enough to realize that improving their business writing would...
Updating the links in my Writing Resources, I visited an old favorite site and experienced the nostalgia of diagramming sentences. The site is Guide to Grammar and Writing, sponsored by Capital Community College. Use this link for its useful, free PowerPoint presentations, including one on diagramming sentences. As a...
At this time of year, many people decide to move forward on plans to start their own business. As a first step in making their dream a reality, they design their business card. If you are in that exciting phase, please read this caution:You are the president, the founder,...
Congratulations to science writer Paul Haase. He just won $1,000 for explaining "through-put maximization" in plain language using grains of rice. According to today's Seattle Times, Haase won the money in a challenge sponsored by Doug MacDonald, secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation. The challenge was to...
Today in a business writing class, I worked with nine people in sales in a successful global firm. When I showed them a slide with 24 acronyms and abbreviations they use in their writing, they admitted that they could not define or recognize all of them. (Remember: These were...
Today as I was reading samples of writing for two upcoming classes, I noticed that two people from two different companies had used the word below incorrectly. Based on this experience, I decided to provide the lowdown (the truth) on below. Here are the problem sentences: The below is a...
My husband recently received a notice from one of our credit card companies. It began like this:You recently received a notification that your credit line was increased on your Our Company credit card. Because of a system error, your notice stated that your credit line was increased to $3,000.00...
The correct places to use the words can and may are not as easily determined as we often imagine. I was reminded of the subtleties in my seminar with the Association of Legal Administrators last week, when an attendee questioned two of my uses. (Thanks, Jennifer! I appreciate your...
I was scrolling through the excellent Grammar Hell site today, when I came upon a bit of information that surprised me. It had to do with the use of "hone in" and "home in." Let's look at the issue. Which is correct in this sentence, "home in" or "hone...
In Seattle, Washington, USA, where I live, today is the first really hot day of the summer. It is 94 degrees Fahrenheit (34.4 Celsius). Because of the unusual heat (unusual for Seattle), I wanted to learn how to run my car's air conditioner most efficiently. So as my husband...