Writing is hard, even for people like me who make a living doing it, so sometimes it helps to have a writing partner. I’m not talking about an editor who reviews your final drafts for focus and clarity or a proofreader who checks for typos. I’m referring to someone...(Read More)
- On January 8, 2019
- On December 11, 2018
Which of the following sentences features a word that’s being used incorrectly?
- Use images that complement and reinforce your message and convey a real-world look and feel.
- This new offering compliments the company’s existing flextime arrangements.
- Shoppers receive complimentary shipping on orders over $50.
If you chose the second sentence, you chose correctly....(Read More)
- On November 27, 2018
“In the past, chief executives might have waxed about paradigm shifts and bleeding-edge technology, but ‘journey’ has lately been the go-to word in corporatespeak.”
That line appeared in a recent Wall Street Journal article poking fun at the overuse of journey, which, according to the report, has appeared in the...(Read More)
- On November 13, 2018
The holidays are upon us and with them lots of opportunities to wish people well. Putting those wishes to paper correctly, however, can be tricky. Is it, for example, Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year or Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year?
Read these guidelines...(Read More)
- On November 7, 2018
When to Dash: The Difference Between Commas, Parentheses, and Dashes in Punctuating Parenthetical—i.e., Extra—Information
- On October 30, 2018
I’ve written many bulletins about dashes—America’s favorite punctuation mark—but today’s edition focuses on the overlap between a pair of dashes (like the ones I just used), commas, and parentheses. All three punctuation marks can be used to give readers extra information.
Let’s take that opening sentence. I could replace the...(Read More)
- On October 17, 2018
“Communication doesn’t take place because you tell somebody something. It takes place when you observe them closely and track their ability to follow you.”
Alan Alda wrote that in his charming book If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on Face? My Adventures in the Art and Science...(Read More)
- On October 3, 2018
“Why do you want to quit smoking?” the interviewer asked two groups of people.
“I want to breathe more easily in the morning …”
“I don’t want other people knowing I smoke…”
These two answers appeared in a research report I recently edited, but I wasn’t sure why the author had ended...(Read More)