Today I received a contract for an upcoming program I will lead. In the contract, my last name is spelled wrong. On the program flyer, my last name and company name are both spelled wrong. In a recent list of recommended business blogs, both my first name and last name...
I just received an email that reminded me of the commonest error I have been seeing in content--not in punctuation or grammar, in content.  The email begins this way: ***Correction***The original message to you had an error regarding the day of the meeting. This notice is updated with the correct information. The original message,...
This week I received an email reminding me about a luncheon on Monday, December 9. The writer pasted in the original invitation beneath his reminder. Minutes later I received an "oops" message, apologizing: the writer had meant Tuesday, December 9--not Monday.  But the writer had already made this mistake back in September when...
My e-newsletter, Better Writing at Work, just went out to 4,959 subscribers. It included 10 techniques for concise writing--at least I thought it did. In fact, the issue was titled "10 Techniques for Concise Writing." Problem: There were 11 techniques. I had two items numbered "6." I proofread the...
A client sent me a worried email about an administrative assistant. The assistant had sent out an email to some executives in the company, and that email had lots of errors. When I read the email thread, I saw the offending email. I also saw that several messages were...
I am always surprised when people in writing classes proofread their documents in type this size. (For those who couldn't read that phrase, it said "in type this size.") They stare at the screen, asking themselves "Do I have a comma or a semicolon there?" and "Is that a...
I live in the state of Washington. I live in Washington State. And when it comes to capitalization, it's the state of confusion. Why? Because various style manuals recommend capitalizing differently. When state comes after the state's name, it is capitalized, according to The Gregg Reference Manual and The Chicago Manual of Style: Washington...
Reading an e-newsletter a minute ago, I came across an error I see often. Can you find it in the sentence below?The New Hampshire-based organization surveyed 117 senior executives and mangers around the globe for the survey, whose results were distributed April 26.Yes. It's those mangers again. And we...
If I said I never send out documents with errors, I would be lying. Just today I realized that the notebooks for two classes I taught recently had an error in one of the page titles. What should have said "Use Active Verbs Primarily" said "Use Passive Verbs Primarily"!...
Julie, a marketing and communications manager from Atlanta, Georgia, asked me about the formatting I used for commands, menus, and other items in my post Make Microsoft Find Passives. Many of us use technical terms in our writing--especially procedure writing--and I'm glad to provide tips. Tip 1: If you write...