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dictionary betrayal

Stop Using Squishy Language

"One of the only": the ambiguous phrase that keeps popping up. I don't know what this means — and neither do your readers. A recent newspaper story about Martha Stewart’s sale of her brand quoted a branding maven: “When [Stewart] started, she ...

Theda C. Snyder - September 8, 2015
dictionary betrayal

This Post Comprises Further Help for Your Systemic Writing Errors

Even the best writer can sometimes confuse words that sound almost the same — call them sound-alikes. A prior post reviewed many of the ...

Theda C. Snyder - July 15, 2015
Get to the Point

How to Clean Up Your Writing

Maybe you’ve read the stories about the candidate who wasn’t hired because of spelling errors in the resumé. Or the firm that lost the bid in response to a request for proposal because of grammatical errors on its website. It’s not just lawyers ...

Theda C. Snyder - May 27, 2015
dictionary betrayal

A Roman Walks Into a Bar

A Roman walks into a bar and tells the bartender, “I’d like a martinus.” The bartender says, “You mean a martini.” “No,” says the Roman, “I only want one.” English is a funny language — in both senses of the word. English incorporates words from ...

Theda C. Snyder - February 23, 2015
dictionary betrayal

A Thesaurus Is Not Just a Word Processing Tab

A thesaurus is a compilation of synonyms, words of the same meaning. A thesaurus also lists antonyms, words of opposite meaning. When you want to vary your vocabulary to hold the reader’s interest, the thesaurus is where to turn. When you’ve ...

Theda C. Snyder - February 2, 2015
dictionary betrayal

Weak Sentence Starters You Use All the Time

A basic rule of good writing is to make every word count. “There is,” “there are” and “it is” are the weakest ways to start a sentence. Used this way, “there” and “it” are placeholders for the real subject of the sentence. They are particularly ...

Theda C. Snyder - January 12, 2015
dictionary betrayal

Effecting Misuse Can Affect the Effectiveness of Your Writing: Sound-Alikes

Similar-sounding words can have very different meanings. Sound-alike words have tripped up many a scribe. Because you may be spelling the word correctly but misusing it for the context, spell-check is of no help. Watch out! Incorrect usage will ...

Theda C. Snyder - November 24, 2014
dictionary betrayal

Windyfoggery and Other Writing Tips from the Master

Theodore Bernstein created an analog to the economic maxim that bad money drives out good: bad words tend to drive out good ones. Bernstein, a journalist and professor, wrote or co-wrote seven books on grammar and usage. As an addict of grammar ...

Theda C. Snyder - November 6, 2014
dictionary betrayal

The 1-2 Punch to Fix What’s Wrong with Email

Sending an email is fast, and you can transmit at any hour, but that may be where the effectiveness and efficiency ends. Remember the bad old days of telephone tag? You would waste time swapping phone messages until you could finally have a ...

Theda C. Snyder - October 6, 2014
dictionary betrayal

Three Tips for Better Client Status Reports

Ethics rules require you to keep your client informed (see ABA Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4). The client’s guidelines may require interval and event reporting. But sometimes it feels like nobody on the other end is reading your client status ...

Theda C. Snyder - September 9, 2014

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