Are you misusing quotation marks?

We’d have a tough time surviving without quotation marks. A famous writer once observed, “Quotation marks allow us to identify what someone actually says, as opposed to simple statements being made by the writer.” Okay, I’m that writer, but the quote illustrates one of the primary roles of quotation marks. The other is to denote […]

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What color is your copy?

Want to know how effective your copy is likely to be? To find out, highlight it in two different colors. Whether you’re developing a blog post, a brochure, a web page, or any other channel, take a few moments to highlight all of the sentences that are really about your customer and his or her […]

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Seven steps for dealing with the media

Business owners and managers who find themselves in the media spotlight often complain they’re being harassed, persecuted, or treated unfairly. However, many of them suffer that treatment because of their own actions in dealing with reporters and editors. To keep from becoming your own worst enemy, follow a few common-sense strategies. Take control. Reporting the […]

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Contractions really aren’t painful

One of the biggest misconceptions about writing involves those handy word combinations we call contractions. You’re familiar: cannot becomes can’t, will not shortens to won’t, and so forth. When professional writers insert those contractions into their work, clients are often confused. Some doubt the competence of the writer they’ve hired or assume that the writer […]

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Are you after fame or notoriety?

Many words have been misused so often that their meanings have started to blur – and writers who should know better start using the wrong words in the wrong places. A recent national magazine article reported that a particular musician had earned his notoriety by producing a couple albums. In this case, “notoriety” was the […]

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