In this month's Better Writing at Work newsletter, I wrote about the value of apologizing. In the lead article, "The Power of Saying 'I'm Sorry,'" I noted the power of apologizing to free us to move on and to free the other person of bad feelings. I also offered...
Yesterday I received a very thoughtful email from a stranger named Patrick. These are his opening paragraphs:With this email, I want to let you know that I appreciate your business writing blog so much. Regularly, I visit your blog to educate myself on writing appropriate English. Your site is...
My 11-year-old daughter and I were watching a movie The Art of Violin. (She had talked me into watching it as part of her violin practice time.) In it, we watched several famous violinists playing--Yehudi Menuhin, Fritz Kreisler, Isaac Stern, Jascha Heifetz--with commentary about their technique, uniqueness, and particular...
Washington State, where I live, has just launched a new tourism campaign. Its slogan is "Say WA?" There's a flurry of discussion, much of it negative, about the new slogan. Today on KUOW, a local NPR (National Public Radio) station, Ross Reynolds led a radio conversation on the slogan....
We have all had the experience of someone misinterpreting our email. Perhaps we were sarcastic, and our reader viewed the message as serious. Maybe we thought we were being funny, and the other person read us as angry. This type of miscommunication happens often in email--perhaps more often than...
Every so often I hear the expression "lean and mean" applied to United States industries. This week I heard it again, in an ASTD webcast called "Closing the Skills Gap," which focused on the challenge of filling U.S. jobs that require certain skills. The expression was used by Stacy...
Late last month the last telegram was sent--the very last telegram. For those of you who are too young to have experienced the telegram, it is was a quaint typed message sent by telegraph lines (through Morse code) and delivered to one's home by a human messenger. It existed...
According to an October 2005 Yahoo publication, 96% of Internet users have never knowingly used RSS (Real Simple Syndication). Are you one of them? I was until today. Yes, I confess that I've been blogging since last June, but I just downloaded an RSS reader so that I can...
Yesterday someone visited this site with an interesting search. The words in the person's query were "linking mission statements with email etiquette."  Those words immediately got my attention. What do mission statements have to do with email? I think there's a strong link. The link may not be obvious...
Last week I met with my friend Ira, who is a senior vice president of human resources. We talked about business writing and about the errors that fill email. Here's one of Ira's thoughts: We put our name on what we are proud of. Is that why people are comfortable...