Cluttered, Concise, Curt…Why We Can’t Get Clear Writing Right

Cluttered, Concise, Curt…Why We Can’t Get Clear Writing Right

Clear writing is sadly lacking in both marketing and business content these days. Here’s why… No matter how many decades I spend working with words, I continue to be shocked by the lack of writing for clarity all around me. I see cluttered and clunky writing everywhere, in marketing content and in business writing. Sometimes I wonder if people are getting paid by the word, for goodness sake! But, no, I realize that’s not the case. So what is? Why this propensity for clutter instead of clear writing? Not that I think people choose...
Monday’s Mistake: Commas Continue to Confuse!

Monday’s Mistake: Commas Continue to Confuse!

Sadly, I saw this in an ad, an actual ad, that was paid for and probably a designer was paid and a copywriter too, yet no took a minute to actually proofread the darn thing. Do you see the mistake? In the heart of a young woman, lies a secret that divides a nation. Here’s the answer: The comma doesn’t belong because the two parts of that sentence can’t stand alone. How do I know? Because neither makes sense on its own. Here’s proof: In the heart of a young woman. Lies a secret that divides a nation. Do either of those “sentences”...
Monday’s Mistake: Commas Continue to Confuse!

Monday’s Mistake: When Writing Wastes Time and Space

This Monday’s Mistake has an obvious punctuation error. Do you see it? More importantly, it is wrong overall in a much bigger way. Do you see why? First, the punctuation error: the comma before please. Verizon values your feedback and please take this 15-minute survey about your overall experience are two independent clauses. Neither needs the other. Therefore, we can’t use a comma. It should be a period and look like this: Verizon values your feedback. Please take this 15-minute survey about your overall experience. But the bigger...
How Specific Email Subject Lines Save Time…and Make You Look Good!

How Specific Email Subject Lines Save Time…and Make You Look Good!

Email subject lines are often overlooked but have the potential to make or break your workplace communication and productivity… What’s the first thing people look at when deciding whether or not to open an email? The From name. And the second? The email subject line—and that makes the subject line key. This is something I emphasize when teaching email copywriting, but it is every bit as relevant to writing at work. While the email marketer needs compelling email subject lines to get a prospect to open an email so they’ll see the...
2 Ways to Get Faster at Business Email Writing (and Other Writing too!)

2 Ways to Get Faster at Business Email Writing (and Other Writing too!)

(Originally published November 2017) Do you wish writing didn’t take you so long? Or that you could dash off an email without having to think so hard about it, and labor over it? We spend so much time on business email writing, it’s no surprise it’s a pain point. And if it is a pain point for you, kudos to you for caring! Far too many emails are dashed off with little thought for how well they’re communicating what’s intended. Sadly, that leads to even more time spent writing and reading as we’re trying to understand each other, so...