Tag Archives: job communication skills

From Memorialize to Curate, Curator, Curation: What Do They Mean?

Have you noticed how often you’ve heard memorialize lately?

It has emerged primarily in the context of former FBI Director James Comey’s having made a written record of — in other words, memorializing — his conversations with President Donald Trump.

Many words in the English language have more than one meaning — or shades of meaning — depending on context.

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Grammar Rules Worth Breaking? You Decide

couple_disagree_grammarA former colleague sent me a link to Grammar Rules You Should Break in Business by Steve Yastrow. I agree with some of Yastrow’s suggestions and disagree with others.

What do you think?

Where We Agree, Disagree

Yastrow begins, “A language works according to a shared set of understood rules, which change over time as language evolves.” Continue

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Calling All Weaklings! Avoid Forms of the Verb ‘To Be’!

wear_verb_to_beWas I ever surprised when I hopped online to do some cursory research about the “weak” verb to be. I thought it was a simple and straightforward topic, but I learned otherwise. (I hate it when someone tries to complicate what I think should be simple.)

Some grammarians had delved deeper than I had, providing even more reasons to avoid using to be and its many forms: is, are, was, were, will be, should be, would be, have been, had been, etc.

Here’s what I originally intended to write:

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What’s the Difference Between Optimum and Optimal?

Optimum versus optimal: Are they interchangeable?

I say no, but not everyone agrees.

I discussed the difference in a February 15, 2015, post that followed the Super Bowl that year. Because I always ask new blog subscribers how they found me, and because I continue to get mentions of that optimum versus optimal post, I’m covering the topic again. Continue

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How to Say Crêpes, Forte, Niche: The Answers Might Surprise You

how to pronounce crêpeA reader sent me an email about one of her pet peeves, and it involves pronunciation of one of the following words: crêpes, forte, niche.

Are you the one who’s getting on her nerves?

You might be surprised about how many choices — and meanings — there are to a couple of them.

But first, let’s get into the food. Continue

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Wake Up to the New Woke

Millennially and social media users lie 'woke'If you use woke only as the past tense of wake — I wake up, I woke up — this post is for you.

Millennials and other avid users of social media most likely know that woke has an expanded meaning. It has evolved as an adjective; in today’s world, woke can mean well informed or up-to-date.

In its new context, woke implies an awareness of and being attentive to important facts and issues, especially related to racial and social justice. Continue

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Common Comma Error: Conjunction ‘and’ Doesn’t Always Need One

Play and teach guitar: When do you need a comma?When you have two complete sentences — also called independent clauses — and you connect them with a conjunction (and, but, or, for, nor, yet, so, for example), you need to insert a comma before the conjunction.

But if the second clause that makes up the sentence is a dependent clause (lacks a subject), no comma is necessary.

These are complete sentences / independent clauses that can stand alone. Each has a subject and verb: Continue

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3 Quiz Questions for National Punctuation Day

man with coffee ponders punctuationSunday, Sept. 24, 2017, is National Punctuation Day.

How will you celebrate?

I’ve thought about spending the day as founder Jeff Rubin suggested:

Sleep late. Go out for coffee and a bagel. Read a newspaper and use a red pen to circle all the punctuation errors. Visit a grocery store and make a list of all the “grocer’s apostrophes” you see (apple’s anyone?).

But I’d rather devote my time and this space to something helpful and constructive for you, my valued readers. Continue

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Is ‘Ones’ a Valid Word?

www.RuthlessEditor.comIf one is defined as being or amounting to a single unit, how can the plural form ones be a valid word?

We recognize one when appropriately used as a personal pronoun referring to an individual or people in general:

One never knows how much good comes from a kind deed.

One should not drink and drive.

One also has a possessive form:

One’s home is one’s castle.

One’s health is more important than one’s wealth.

Yet enwiktionary.org defines ones as the plural of one.

Huh?

I’ve noticed ones in a number of online news reports, and I’m puzzled — and discouraged — by its use. Here are examples and my suggestions for rewrites: Continue

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