Archive | Writing Advice

Even still more goofs and gaffes

Again and again, I see proof of professional reliance on spellcheckers instead of good old proofreading and editing. Case in point: a Northwest Indiana Times article about funding for safety improvements on the South Shore Railroad. The reporter included this bullet point: “Implementation of Positive Train Control, a federally mandated safety system that tracks the precise location […]

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Hoping to catch a stripper?

Strip and stripe are two words that look similar and are pronounced differently. More important, they convey strikingly different meanings. And yet both and their derivatives are constantly being used incorrectly by people who don’t know better. If you see a Facebook post selling a “striped” piece of furniture, it means one of two things. […]

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What’s a feature, and what’s a benefit?

Are there certain things that people don’t know but should, and that drives you to distraction? For me, one of the biggest is the difference between features and benefits. While that distinction has been talked about for years, and successful communications and sales professionals invariably advocate for emphasizing benefits over features, there continues to be a […]

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Don’t be inappropriate

Far too many people spatter what they write with words that don’t really need to be there. One of the best examples is the word “appropriate.” People have a tendency to work it into sentences to make them sound more important, even though that extra word really doesn’t add any value. A typical example? “Once […]

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