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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Communicating across the generations

“Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” ~~George Orwell   Let’s take a look at the six (count ’em, six) generations that are alive today. Five of those (count ’em, five) are active in the workplace. We start […]

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Surviving the challenging conversation

Difficult customers, escalating situations, internal conflict – all of these (and more) can lead to the need for a challenging conversation. How do you calm a screaming customer? How do you defuse a potentially volatile situation? How do you address an employee’s or a coworker’s negative behavior? Let’s start with what not to do. None […]

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This Friday or next? It’s all in the interpretation!

Let’s get together next Friday and work on the project. This Friday? Right, next Friday. Which Friday? Ugh. The Friday that’s coming up. Ok. That’s this Friday. Sound familiar? Do you sometimes feel you’re going around in circles when you’re trying to get someone else to understand you? Although your language may be the same, […]

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