Today is William Shakespeare's 449th birthday. Imagine being remembered for your fine writing hundreds of years after your death! But if you are a business writer, being remembered is not as important as being effective day by day. Has the email you sent this morning gotten a positive response yet?...
In the United States, political analysts and late-night television comedians have been talking about truth and lies, in light of the recent political convention. They accuse some convention speakers of hyperbole, misrepresentation, and blatant lying. Politicians and their spokespersons have been defending or talking around the misstatements, saying their...
Standing in line at a famous fast-food restaurant the other day, I overheard the person in front of me asking the counter clerk for advice. She wanted to know which was the best salad. The first clerk said she had never eaten the salads, so she could not say. She...
Today someone sent me an evaluation of an online business writing course he had taken with me. This was his final comment: I liked the online format. It was like being in an actual classroom, but without sitting next to the person who had a garlic and onion chilidog for lunch. Oh,...
The other day I got a sales flyer by email from a specialty music company, one I often order from. The flyer featured amplifiers, and I happened to want to buy one for a gift. So I read the flyer and called the company within an hour to place an order....
I accompanied my 89-year-old father to the hearing aid center yesterday. He had just gotten hearing aids and needed instruction on how to use them. The doctor, around age 50, told my father that a tiny button on his new hearing aid would "reboot" it. My father looked at the...
I was teaching a business writing workshop recently for an entire team at a company. Attendance was mandatory. When I stopped to look at a participant's laptop to coach the woman on her email, she said, "I don't need your help. I was an English major. I know how to...
The other day I wanted to buy salmon at my local market. When I looked at the fish counter covered with ice and various fish, I did not see any salmon, so I asked the person behind the counter if he had any for sale. He looked at me,...
Yesterday I reviewed the latest updates of my LinkedIn connections, after a busy period of not checking in. I noticed that many people had written a brief update over the past two weeks. Some had written daily updates. Others had published several updates each day. Whose do you think I read? I read...
Reading The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) "New Questions and Answers" column today, I got a huge laugh from the final question and answer: Question: My library shelves are full. I need to make some difficult decisions to make space for new arrivals. Is there any reason to keep my CMOS...