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Do I Have to Call You “Dear”?

Dear Reader: I’m not sure whether it’s gender-based or not, but it certainly seems that more men than women have trouble opening a business letter with the salutation “Dear _____.” In a recent writing class in Bellevue, Washington, several men admitted they couldn’t force themselves… continue reading

Making Beautiful Music–A Lesson

My 11-year-old daughter attended the Japan-Seattle Suzuki International Institute this week, and I tagged along as her companion. Attending a class for parents, I picked up advice on how to help her practice and play her violin better. The session was led by a virtuoso… continue reading

Read It LOUD (That Is, ALOUD)

Mistakes. Mistakes. Mistakes. We all make them, even when we think we have proofread our documents. Some mistakes are worse than others:   Written: The rent will be $200 per month.  Intended: The rent increase will be $200 per month.   Written: You have a… continue reading

13 Little Words

I just got a quick 13-word email that made me smile and made my work life easier. The pleasing message was simply this: “I don’t know–but I’ll find out and get back to you ASAP.” No, it’s no subtle pun that amused me. It’s that… continue reading

Feeling Ignored? Blame Your Subject Line

The other day I wrote about not blaming yourself if your email doesn’t reach its intended reader: Feeling Ignored: Blame Email.  Rather than post to my blog, my husband Michael commented to me face to face. I think that’s a good sign for our marriage.… continue reading

Watch Your Verbiage

For a business writing class I will teach later today, I asked participants to let me know what they would like to be able do better in their writing. Among those responding, two participants wanted to “use better verbiage” and “use more powerful verbiage.” Being… continue reading

Feeling Ignored? Blame Email

If you have sent an important email message in the last 10 days and not gotten any response, this post is for you. I want you to know that: 1. Your web designer does care about you and your site, but— 2. Your friend is… continue reading