Recent Articles

The Top 5 Reader Questions

As people sift through the pile of emails they receive daily and decide which ones are worth reading, they wonder… Why did I receive this? How does it apply to me? Do I have to do anything? (If so, what and by when?) What’s in it for me if I read it? What happens if […]

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Conquer Your Writer’s Block

Writer’s block can strike even the most experienced writers. When asked about the most frightening thing he had ever encountered, novelist Ernest Hemingway said, “A blank sheet of paper.” So, if you’re writing an article, email, letter, report, or blog entry and suddenly find you’re stuck, you’re in good company. The frustration and stress of […]

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Think Before You Send That Email

Few people would argue that email is their primary mode of business communication because it saves time, money, and effort. Some situations, however, should make us pause before writing a message and hitting Send. Perhaps a phone call or face-to-face meeting would be more efficient or effective in ensuring the recipient understands our message the […]

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Do Your Subjects and Verbs Agree?

A basic grammar rule tells us that a singular subject takes a singular verb, and a plural subject takes a plural verb. As always, however, English presents us with some variations that make us pause. The examples below will help you address potential challenges when trying to match your subjects and verbs. Use a Singular […]

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Your Frequently Asked Writing Questions

Certain rules about grammar, punctuation, and usage have been ingrained into our heads from teachers, books, or what others have told us are standard practices. Over time, some rules have evolved (I prefer “relaxed”) while new ones have emerged, causing us to question what truly applies. Listed below are answers to questions I hear most […]

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What Your Email Readers Want

As email has become our predominant form of business communication, by now most of us have established our own level of expertise, approach, and style when sending messages. But what about messages we receive? Do you ever stop to think what prompts you to read a message, helps you to read and understand it, or […]

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A Collection of Writing Bloopers

I hope the following make you smile, chuckle, or even laugh aloud. Make this a learning experience by trying to figure out what the authors really meant to write! Student Blunders The government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee. In midevil times […]

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Establish Writing Standards for Your Company

Create a style guide that gives every writer in your company a set of standards to follow. Why? Everyone’s writing differs in style, tone, format, and even choice of grammar, punctuation, and usage. A style guide fosters consistency; streamlines the writing, proofreading, and editing processes; and serves as a primary resource with proven, effective writing […]

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One Space or Two?

People often ask me whether to use one space or two spaces after end punctuation (period, question mark, exclamation point) between sentences. Many current writing resources advocate (dare I say “dictate”?) using one space. While this may be new to many of you, I suspect you have noticed the two-space practice slowly taking its place […]

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Beyond Spelling and Grammar Check

A common definition of a tool is “anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose.” Microsoft Word offers us spelling and grammar check as a valuable tool to ensure our writing is clear, concise, and correct. If you are familiar with spelling and grammar check, I hope you use it diligently! Here […]

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