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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Need a word ….

Communication is such a big word. Literally, it is a very long word to try to fit into emails, social media, promotional material, and even a newsletter about words. There must be a better word. Communication also covers a very wide spectrum. A communications degree could mean anything, from journalism to public relations to broadcast […]

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Let’s go farther!

Writing workshop participants often ask for help with clarifying the differences between words that are very similar and often confused. Two of those words are further and farther. Let’s take a look and determine whether we are going for the distance or need to discuss it a little more. Okay, so those were clues. Farther […]

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Is it a waste of time?

Am I just wasting my time? Many people tell me they agree with me that we spend too much time on our electronics, and I get encouraged. Then I get deflated when so many people don’t seem to want to do anything to change the situation. Groups of people, sitting right next to each other […]

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Are you using your words for good?

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” When we were children, we attempted to deflect the words of bullies (or just other insecure children), by reciting this chant. The message was, of course, that we could tolerate name-calling or verbal taunts, as long as there was no physical violence. […]

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