Get to the Point

Talking About Choices: Inoffensive Is Better Than Clever

Stay away from shortcut, cutesy or slang expressions about hot-button issues such as racism, sexual harassment or the Holocaust.

Theda C. Snyder - August 8, 2018
Why Lawyers Are Redundant: History Is Destiny

Now lawyers use every term they can think of because some court somewhere once said the language in the contract didn’t cover the dispute. Sometimes that’s a good reason, but often it is not. Rather than a considered approach, most lawyers start ...

Theda C. Snyder - June 12, 2018
Making and Using Too Many Words

As you edit your work product, pay special attention to instances where a stronger verb could replace a verb and its direct object. Besides being less persuasive, weak verbs plus explanatory words lengthen your writing [not, “make it longer”].

Theda C. Snyder - April 11, 2018
Five Usage Errors — With Celebrities

Just because you see a word or phrase in public media doesn’t mean it is being used correctly. Here are five common incorrect usages. Nicole Kidman’s husband is real. Because a person is famous does not make that person an ...

Theda C. Snyder - March 6, 2018
Do Your Gestures Belie Your Words?

My "Get to the Point!" columns talk about writing and speaking. But you communicate another way, too — through body language. Studies show that your gestures may speak more loudly than your words and can even contradict them. You may have ...

Theda C. Snyder - February 7, 2018
Profanity in the Legal Workplace

Oh, balderdash! I just read that using profanity enhances team building in the workplace. Say what? Apparently, a vocabulary of four-letter words brands you as part of the “in” group in the information technology industry, and the practice is ...

Theda C. Snyder - January 10, 2018
You Lost Me Right From the Start: Avoiding Communication Turn-offs

You’re articulate, right? You appreciate and emulate good legal writing. So why do you turn off so many listeners and readers so soon?

Theda C. Snyder - December 12, 2017
The Death of Capitalization

It started with the iPod, the iPad and the iPhone. Capital letters appeared in places they never appeared before. Grammar rules call for capitalizing proper names, but now the correct reference to some brands calls for capitalizing in the middle ...

Theda C. Snyder - November 7, 2017
You Can Conduct an Internet Search, But Should You Google?

I once defended a product liability case where the client was adamant that the product always be called a “personal watercraft.” It most definitely was not, he insisted, a Jet-Ski. The issue was the use of a trademark to refer to a similar ...

Theda C. Snyder - October 3, 2017
Don’t Be Tricked by These False Friends

Some words sound like they mean one thing when they actually mean something very different. Using one of these false friends incorrectly could cause you a problem. But It Sounded Right … The term “false friends” traditionally refers to words ...

Theda C. Snyder - September 11, 2017

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