The 6 Types of Punctuation We Get Wrong, and a FREE eBook to Fix All That

The 6 Types of Punctuation We Get Wrong, and a FREE eBook to Fix All That

Does punctuation matter? Yes! How you use punctuation can change the meaning of your writing—in ways you might dread! Punctuation exists for a reason: to help us communicate clearly. Consider the beginning of this blog post without punctuation: Does punctuation matter yes how you use punctuation can change the meaning of your writing in ways you might dread punctuation exists for a reason to help us communicate clearly Or consider this classic example of a sentence with two very different meanings, depending on the punctuation:...
Monday’s Mistake for April 12, 2021: Did Legal Write This??

Monday’s Mistake for April 12, 2021: Did Legal Write This??

My samples for these Monday Mistakes practically fall from the sky. They show up in my email inbox, on food packaging, and in my mailbox. This week’s Monday’s Mistake is courtesy of a sales letter I received. Do you think the legal department wrote this? It has a mistake, which I’m sure you’ll see, but it is also convoluted—which is a mistake in my mind, because our goal is clear communication, especially when trying to sell something! Here it is: In the event of a covered accidental loss of life, this coverage, when combined with...
Monday’s Mistake for April 12, 2021: Did Legal Write This??

Monday’s Mistake for March 1, 2021: The Dangers of Automated Email!

Sadly, this is the first paragraph in an automated email I get once a week now that we have a registered puppy. I count three blatant mistakes plus several places where writing could be improved. What do you see? To be honest, it’s not the mistakes or poor writing that bug me about this. What bugs me is this is yet another example of the dangers of the set-it-and-forget-it mentality many marketers have with automated email. These emails are being sent out when triggered by an event, in this case, our puppy turning 16 weeks old...
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...
On Long Country Drives, Rustic Wooden Signs, and Annoying Apostrophe Errors

On Long Country Drives, Rustic Wooden Signs, and Annoying Apostrophe Errors

I spent this past weekend with women I’ve been friends with for 40 years. It was long overdue and delightful, and I laughed until my stomach hurt. But my eyes also hurt because while driving through the countryside to get to the beachfront rental, I’d repeatedly see people’s last names on signs in front of their properties with an incorrect apostrophe. You’ve seen these signs, I’m sure. They are usually carved or painted wood, with a small “The” in the upper left corner above the family...