Liz wrote the other day with an interesting question: "When writing a Facebook wall post, it isn't possible (as far as I know) to italicize or underline anything. So how does one properly punctuate titles of works of art/literature? Quotes can work fine for a single item, but the difficulty...
Include your name at the end of your text messages. That way, people who don't have you in their address book--and don't have your number memorized--will know it's you. Thanks to Melissa Thirloway for sharing this good tip. LynnSyntax Training
I was leading a business writing program yesterday, when someone asked me to cover instant messaging (IM). Of course, I said the principles we were discussing in class applied to all types of business writing. Yet IM at work is a unique form of communication--instant and fleeting like nothing else. What makes...
Two weeks ago I took my laptop and went away to an inn to work on a book I am writing. At the end of a long weekend, I was excited to have finished two more chapters totaling around 7,500 words. Ten days ago my laptop was stolen. Those 7,500...
Over the past 1.5 days, I taught a business writing course for internal auditors. Throughout the program the vice president of internal auditing participated wholeheartedly in every learning activity. He shared his knowledge, admitted his knowledge gaps, and communicated his hopes and expectations for his team's audit reports and other written pieces. That...
In a communications class this week, I worked with some managers and directors who recognized their many meetings were not as productive as they should be. Part of the problem was that their meetings did not have a stated purpose with specific outcomes. Sure, they knew they were getting together to...
In my business writing seminars, people frequently complain that they cannot get others to act. They would like others to turn in paperwork, complete surveys, respond with their lunch order off the catering menu, and take similar actions. These actions will make life easier for the people in my...
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"!...
Everyone I know is getting hit hard by spam. If you are a small business person without an IT department to help you deflect spam, here is a tip that may help you--if you use Microsoft Outlook. If you use Outlook and you are unsure whether an email is spam,...
In a business writing class last week, participants described worrying that their weekly reports would bore their clients. They wanted to find ways to dress up the data. They feared that reading the same thing week after week would put their readers to sleep. Let's compare a weekly report with...