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Email Conversations–Pro and Con

Last week I led a Writing Tune-Up for a world-class investment company. When we talked about new rules for email, one woman suggested this rule: Don’t have business discussions in email. It’s not efficient. If you want to talk with a group of people, schedule… continue reading

Your Untethered Reader

Earlier this week I got a good email tip from a participant in the Writing Tune-Up. When I asked for additional rules for email etiquette and efficiency, Tom offered this one: If you have a deadline within a few days, don’t just communicate it in… continue reading

What Amazing Feet!

On a coffee break in a recent business writing workshop, an attendee was checking her email. Suddenly she laughed a hearty "Hah! Hah! Hah!" People scattered around the room wondered what could be so funny. She explained: "I’m reading an email I was copied on.… continue reading

Lost on a Web Site

I just received an email response from an online company. I had visited their site, wanting to buy a gift certificate for my husband. But I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Was a gift certificate considered a product? If so, would it be… continue reading

A Good Set of Conference Room Rules

Here’s another example of good writing. I found this set of rules just inside the door of a conference room at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where I was teaching Better Business Writing this week. Conference Room Rules If you use it, you are responsible to:… continue reading

A Great Letter from My Doctor

With examples of weak writing everywhere, I wanted to share an example of an excellent letter I received from my doctor at Group Health Cooperative. I have included my comments in brackets. Dear Lynn, [This is right for me. My doctor and I are the… continue reading

Don’t Do That!

Over lunch today I was reading a booklet about "controlling email" when I came upon a weird set of suggestions for establishing a company email policy. It included these pointers: Expect employees to train themselves. . . . Forget your international associates. . . .… continue reading

When Your COB Is My EOD

The other day in a business writing class, I read an abbreviation that perplexed me. Here is the sentence: We need your contributions by the COB on December 14. The writer, Linda, was asking for contributions for an adopt-a-family holiday program. Do you recognize COB?… continue reading

Served or Serviced–Which Do You Prefer?

My friend Margaret sent me an amusing sentence from an email she had received from a car rental company. Here is the sentence, from which I have eliminated the company’s name to maintain its good reputation: Our car rental company values you as a customer,… continue reading

A Question of Timing

Today I sent out my monthly e-newsletter to 3426 people. As is typical on a Friday afternoon, I received many automatic out-of-office email replies. This is my favorite, from a man named Dave: I am currently out of the office. I will return to the… continue reading