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Word Choice – Might and May

A BizWritingTip reader asked, “Can you explain the difference between might and may?” Yes, I can. Both might and may imply permission or possibility. And might is the past tense of may. Examples The figures may be accurate. (possibility) You may include the cleaning bill in your expense account. (permission) I might have been able […]

Information/Fun – Season’s Greetings

We are forwarding you this message from Greg as a bit of light-hearted fun for this holiday season. We’ll get back to business in early January. Some Business Writing Tips: Avoid alliteration. Always. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with. Avoid clichés like the plague. (They’re old hat.) Employ the vernacular. Eschew ampersands & […]

Writing Style – A Business Case in the Real World

In today’s workplace, it is a wonderful skill to be able to write a business case. In fact, many business schools spend weeks training their students how to write a comprehensive proposal that covers all angles: Situational Assessment, Problem Statement, Project Description and Objectives, Solution Description, Cost and Benefit Analysis, Financial Assessment, Implementation Timetable, Critical […]

Grammar Tip – Dot, Dot, Dot the Ellipsis

People often want to know about the punctuation they refer to as dot, dot, dot. It is actually called an ellipsis. It is formed by using three spaced periods and indicates there are missing words. As one of my workshop participants said, “It is really saying yada, yada, yada.” Correct – As usual, the weekly […]

Word Choice – Talked To Versus Spoke To

A BizWritingTip reader asked me to explain the difference between talked to and spoke to. Both words are the past tenses of words with similar meanings. Spoke to means “held a conversation with.” Talked to means “communicated ideas, information, or feelings in spoken words.” However, talked to is deemed a little more forceful as it […]

Writing Style – One Space or Two

Whenever I conduct a grammar workshop, a participant will invariably ask, “How many spaces should you leave after a period?” The answer is one — for a computer. (You use two spaces after a period when working on a typewriter.) It is amazing how concerned some people are about this issue. Frankly, I don’t seriously […]

Word Choice – I or We

Aarani’s question: “I always find myself wondering whether to use ‘I’ or ‘we.’  I was writing an email just a few minutes ago and wrote ‘I appreciate your help.’  This was directed to an external contact. Would it be better to use ‘I’ or ‘we’ — as in my collective team/company?” BizWritingTip response: “I” means […]

Grammar Tip – What intimidates today’s readers?

When people take a writing course, they expect to hear a lot about the importance of clarity and conciseness. However, in my mind they are out of date on their emphasis. Fifteen years ago, everyone was concerned about plain language and getting a message completely on one page. And often times to do this, they […]