Write It Right in Your New Job

"A man recently contacted me about wanting to be successful in his new job. He realized his writing was not what it needed to be," writes Lynn Gaertner-Johnston (photo, left).

"If you have a new job, congratulations! Being successful in a new position requires learning and doing new things and accomplishing old things new ways. To write successfully in your new position, take the practical steps below."

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An Awkward Request Phrased Beautifully

Scenario: Imagine that you run a classy beachside hotel. Many of the hotel rooms have balconies that face the beach. Everyone walking from the beach toward the hotel can see the balconies. When guests hang wet bathing suits, towels, and…

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Do You Give Readers the “Why” They Need?

The other night I was traveling from Boston to my home, Seattle. When I arrived at my connection city, Denver, at 7:15 p.m. I received this text message: Your Flight ___ on August 6 from DEN now departs at 11:55…

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Test Yourself: Which Pronoun Is Correct?

There’s a hit song titled “Him and I” whose ungrammatical title and lyrics drive me nuts. A correct title would be either “Him and Me” or “He and I”–never “Him and I.” Why? Because him is an object pronoun, and…

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Comments on Taking Notes by Hand or Computer

I accidentally closed the Comments section for last week’s post on taking meeting notes. If you wanted to comment, please do so. I apologize for the problem! Lynn

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Should You Take Meeting Notes by Hand or by Computer?

A friend recently complained to me that a young woman at her workplace made fun of her for taking meeting notes by hand. The young woman acted as though my friend–let’s call her Marge–were incompetent: “WHY do you take notes…

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Which Mistakes Do You Make on Purpose?

If you can write a catchy sentence using I when the wording really demands me, do you choose I or me? If fewer fits your meaning but less sounds breezier, do you go with the correct fewer or the rhythmic…

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5 Steps for Effective Business Writing

"A lot of writing for business is sloppy, poorly written, disorganized, littered with jargon, and incomplete. Often it is either too long or too short. All these attributes contribute to ineffective business writing."

"Whether you are writing a sales proposal, an email to your boss, or an instruction manual for a software package, there are certain steps you must follow to be effective.  Follow these five steps: . . ."

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Stuck on the Right Words for Sensitive Topics? Get AP 2018

If you create newsletter articles, HR policies, forms, reports, or other pieces that touch on current topics and data, you may catch yourself wondering about word choice: transgender or transgendered? Eskimo or Inuit? Survivor or victim? The latest AP Stylebook…

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The Deadly Customer Service Mistake Your Business Is Probably Making (Without Even Knowing It)

"The customer service mistake that nearly every business makes, over and over again, is to treat every customer the same.  It's understandable that they would fall into this way of doing business, because the alternative-treating every customer as an individual-is more complicated and challenging than pretending that one size fits all."

"Here are just a few of the ways customers are different, and that require you to treat them differently: . . ."

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