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...
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...
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...
Do you get frustrated when, despite your best proofreading efforts, an error slips by? It happens to everyone, including me. In yesterday's E-Tips ezine from Upwrite Press, I found an excellent description of the investment one company makes to ensure that its documents are free of errors. In the ezine,...
Question: Which of these abbreviations are correct?$25 m   $25m   $25M   $25mm   $25milAnswer: None of them if the reader does not understand them. Last week I heard from David, a proofreader in international banking, who wrote about standard abbreviations for millions and billions. In an industry in which a typographical error...
The Associated Press has just published a new edition of its style manual. Like the 2004 edition, it is called Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law. But this one is spiral bound, with the year 2006  on its cover. It sells for $13.75 plus shipping. If your 2004 edition...
In a recent Better Business Writing class an attendee wrote a sentence like this one in a letter to a customer:You may be certain that I will appraise you as soon as I receive the investigator's report.  But the reader would want to be apprised--not appraised. Be sure to...
The other day I was parked at the post office, when I noticed a woman walking a dachshund. At the corner the dog stopped walking. The woman gently tugged the leash, but the dog did not budge. It just stood there in the sun. Then it lay down on...