3 Rules to Get Apostrophes Right Every Single Time (RIP Apostrophe Protection Society)

3 Rules to Get Apostrophes Right Every Single Time (RIP Apostrophe Protection Society)

Last week we went to Hamburg, New York for the Thanksgiving holidays. (It’s my husband’s hometown.) And it seems I can’t escape the absurd use of apostrophes even when on vacation because I had to stare at this sign while trying to enjoy my beer: We were at a cute neighborhood pub and I was drinking a tasty local brew called Frosty the IPA and eating Buffalo wings, of course, yet still. That sign annoyed me the whole time. Why do so many people get it wrong? Sadly, it seems the incorrect use of the apostrophe is the new normal. In...
10 Ways to Get People to Keep Reading What You Wrote

10 Ways to Get People to Keep Reading What You Wrote

Does this sound familiar? You labor over a document or an email, finally submit it, then have someone ask you a question you answered with your writing. Obviously, they didn’t read what you wrote and you start to wonder, “What was the point of all that work?” Whether it’s lazy-ness or busy-ness in the workplace today, people are more likely to quickly scan what you write and not fully absorb what you’ve said—no matter how long you labored over it. (And that’s just a nice way of saying people aren’t reading what you wrote. And that’s...
11 Common Business Writing Mistakes that Have Nothing to Do with Your Grammar

11 Common Business Writing Mistakes that Have Nothing to Do with Your Grammar

Have you ever realized you’ve been making the same mistake over and over, unaware it was a mistake? And I don’t mean business writing mistakes, not yet… Growing up I had a friend who would say “for all intents and purposes.” I thought she kept saying “for all intensive purposes.” I didn’t know what it meant but she is smarter than me so I figured I just didn’t understand her fancy lingo. I was in my mid 20s before I figured out my error—and her saying made sense. Embarrassing! It’s easy to stay stuck in a mistake when...
Why You Need Better Business Writing Skills by 2020—and Dozens of Ways to Improve

Why You Need Better Business Writing Skills by 2020—and Dozens of Ways to Improve

We’re going to talk about business writing skills, but let’s start with a more appealing topic first… Do you have an activity or interest that constantly challenges you to learn?  Horses top my list. They challenge me to keep learning because they are also learning. Every time we master one thing, it simply moves us on to the next. Plus riding more than one horse means learning one thing in different ways. Even how they tackle the same obstacle (like the obstacle in the photos) can differ and I must learn these...
I Tried the Hemingway App and It Scared Me—Here’s Why…

I Tried the Hemingway App and It Scared Me—Here’s Why…

After years of resisting, I tried the Hemingway app. It scared me. We already have a lack of good writing skills in the U.S. And I assume the goal of the app is to help make up for that deficit. But I predict this app will only dumb down our writing further instead. Here’s why… It’s a software, not a human It’s incapable of understanding nuance or cadence or richness. Although a dumbed down simplistic formulaic approach to writing works for—and is even necessary for—tasks such as instruction manuals and technical documentation, that...