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...
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,...