Author: Pat Fontana

How’s your focus?

What’s that? Were you talking to me? I have a new digital camera. It zooms out so I can capture a great photo just by pushing a button. However, I have to learn to wait until the camera adjusts its focus before pushing that button. These days, those are two very difficult things to command […]

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The toothpaste story

Words are like toothpaste. Once out, they can never be squeezed back into the tube. That’s actually pretty much the whole story. Watch your words. Once they’re out, they’re out forever. Even if you think you’ve deleted them off social media, someone still has them, still remembers them. Even when you realize you’ve said the […]

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The times they are a changin’

One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world. (Malala Yousafzai) Ok, so it’s not news that just about everything in our lives has changed over the past few months. The way we conduct business has changed. The way we interact with other people has definitely changed. The need to communicate […]

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Deep breaths, respect, and empathy

Respect is literally the first step in REAL communications, so desperately needed right now. In 2015, Inc magazine published 99 simple ways to gain respect, which you’ll see by the first step is intricately connected to being able to show respect to others. I’ll spare you the entire list (you can read it here), but the […]

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Keep clam and proofread

**Bonus points if you see what I did there.** Words are more virtual now, which means a lot more of our words appear in print. Kind of ironic, right? That also means that typos, word misuse, or other “issues” are seen and recorded digitally for all of time. (You didn’t really think you could delete […]

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Humans behind the screens – and the masks

The headlines are disturbing. Owner closes Massachusetts ice cream shop rather than serve rude customers Security guard shot and killed after telling customer to put on mask Park ranger pushed into lake after telling crowd to social distance Somewhere along the line, we have forgotten that these are all humans. For weeks, we saw other people […]

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When words fail us

When we don’t communicate well – or at all – it can lead to misinterpretion, mistakes, and sometimes serious consequences. When we are not careful about the words we use and they lead to negative results, we might find ourselves wanting to take them back. As the saying goes, you can’t put that toothpaste back […]

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Quarantine, Routine, and Boredom

40 Days of Quarantine – Redundant? We have the Italians and the plagues of the 14th century to thank for a word that has become increasingly prominent in the spring of 2020. According to the CDC, quarantine has its origins in the Italian words quaranta giorni, which mean 40 days. In the 14th century, an […]

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Now for something completely different

Word weary yet? Tired of hearing the same terms, the same new vocabulary? Yearning to see something a little different in your inbox? A loyal reader reminded me that words do, indeed, evolve, changing over time in both their use and their meaning. What we say and read and hear today may be completely different […]

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Is it “and I” or “and me”?

My family and I wish you the happiest of holiday seasons. Those wishes, though, do not come from my family and I. Confused? Let’s dig a bit deeper. Many people seem to think the “and I” sounds more professional or more formal. It actually sounds very wrong in some cases. Grammar lesson alert! The “I” […]

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