Tag Archives | english

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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OF TACOS AND DIAPERS

If your business requires that you communicate with counterparts elsewhere around the globe, be careful — even when you think they speak the same language. I was reminded of this while reading Robert Serling’s excellent history of the Boeing Company, “Legend & Legacy.” (Trivia note: his brother Rod used to appear on an early-60s TV […]

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A NOT-SO-COMMON LANGUAGE

After all the uproar about Coca-cola employing a commercial in which immigrants sang “America the Beautiful” in their native languages instead of English (as the grandson of immigrants, I found it touching, beautiful, and far more patriotic than the outcry), it occurred to me that most people mistakenly believe that Americans share a common language. […]

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PLAIN ENGLISH BOOSTS TAX REVENUES

Not that long ago, I heard about a very impressive effort by officials in Washington State. At a time when tax revenues are hard to come by, those officials boosted use-tax revenues by a whopping $800,000! Did they raise rates? No. Hire private investigators? Uh-uh. Try torture? Nope. (more…)

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