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...
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,...
Across the United States, people are celebrating Thanksgiving Day. Inspired by the day and having a moment before I get ready for the festivities of eating, drinking, and enjoying good company, I want to write about capitalizing the word day in holidays. Around individual holidays celebrated in the U.S.,...
In all the classes on grammar and punctuation I teach, the punctuation mark that causes the most confusion is the apostrophe. It's the little mark used to show possession:one employee's housetwo employees' carsI have already written Apostrophe Help Please! and More Apostrophe Help! This post is for those who...
A friend emailed me a follow-up message a sales representative had sent her. I have typed it below. What is your impression of the writer?thank you for the rapid response I am grateful for the follow up. as far as information, I sending you an up coming schedule of...
Here is the sixty-four thousand dollar ($64,000) question: Why do we repeat numbers? I am talking about these redundancies: within seven (7) daysfourteen dollars and seven cents ($14.07) a waiting period of sixty (60) days Answer: Because we have always done it that way! Despite how we have always...
Maggie wrote to ask about the plural of mouse when the word refers to the electronic object we cup in our right or left hand. As a librarian, she needs to report regularly on the number of mice or mouses she has sent for repair. According to my American...
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...
I am glad that Raymond Ward of The (New) Legal Writer wrote about an Office Team survey on typos (typographical errors). The survey showed that typos do affect our job prospects. When 150 executives were asked, "How many typos in a resume does it take for you to not...
Sometimes we slavishly follow the rules of writing, when we ought to focus on communicating. We try to never split an infinitive. (I just did!) We're put off by contractions. (Did you notice mine?) And we avoid starting a sentence with a conjunction. (Why?) Another "rule" people take too...