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Lynn Gaertner-Johnston
I'm Lynn Gaertner-Johnston, founder of Syntax Training in Seattle, Washington, and a fan of business writing.
Recent Activity
Sudhir, you are welcome. Thanks for stopping by. Lynn
Excellent example, Phyllis. Thanks for sharing it. Lynn
Toggle Commented Dec 6, 2017 on My Husband Comma Michael Comma at Business Writing
Hi Pankaj, Thanks for trying the tests. Your version, "has been leading," is also correct--just a bit less concise. Lynn
Toggle Commented Dec 4, 2017 on Test Your Proofreading Skills at Business Writing
Phorntita and Deborah, thanks for commenting. Deborah, I'm glad you had some success. Lynn
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2017 on Test Your Proofreading Skills at Business Writing
Hi Frank, Good point! I believe both "contribution" and "contributions" work in the sentence. I chose "contribution" to make the verb error a bit more challenging to catch. I believe "contribution" works because one might write "Your contribution of limitless enthusiasm and energy . . . " Thanks for asking. Lynn
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2017 on Test Your Proofreading Skills at Business Writing
Hi C M G, Don't hang your head too low. You couldn't prove that others were all wrong, but you can prove that some style manuals agree with you. Lynn
Jonathan, thanks for stopping by with so much agreement! Lynn
AR, I agree about senior leadership. Thanks for making that important point. Lynn
Toggle Commented Nov 20, 2017 on Write Better Executive Summaries at Business Writing
Hi Miranda, Excellent points! Thank you for the caution about using the word "unfortunately." It's important that the word not be used in the context of one's own corporate policy. I noticed that I used it in an insurance context: "Unfortunately, the boat is not listed in your policy." I believe that use is effective--unless it is the insurance agent's fault for not covering the boat in the policy. I agree with your point about not suggesting something that is outside corporate policy. If someone were to print a manual and send it to the customer, that would no doubt be against corporate policy. After all, the company does not want to provide printed manuals. I believe that's different from emailing a customer a file to print, along with advice on how to have it printed. I had the experience recently of a visually impaired person wanting a special file of my book. It was against our own policy to offer such a file (and we had to take steps to acquire the file ourselves), but providing it for a person who is visually impaired made sense. Thanks for the chance to think more about the tips! Lynn
Hi Tina, I am guessing the boundary changes had to do with the Seattle School District. A very touchy issue. Thank you for letting me know you used the techniques. Lynn
Depending on the type of manual you want, these are good possibilities for you to check out online: --Garner's Modern English Usage --The Associated Press Stylebook (2017) --The Microsoft Manual of Style --The Chicago Manual of Style Lynn
Hi Sheryl, See Point 2 in the original article. Lynn
Thanks, Elizabeth. I'm glad to have been helpful. Lynn
Hi Deborah, Good question. It depends on what you are writing, editing, or proofreading. The most comprehensive guide is "The Chicago Manual of Style." The easiest to use is "The AP Stylebook," and the most computer-oriented is "The Microsoft Manual of Style." "Garner's Modern English Usage" has the most interesting explanations, and it shows how rules change. I suggest choosing one guide. If you find that one of its rules is awkward for your business, check other guides (perhaps at the library if you don't want to buy them). Then you can make an exception, if warranted, following a different guide for a particular usage. If you use a guide for every choice, your choice will always be defensible rather than whimsical. Lynn
That IS an odd mispronunciation. I think it's something I might have said as a small child. Lynn
Hi Kim, I don't have such a template. If you can't find one that is already developed, think about the questions your executive summary needs to answer. You can find two bulleted examples in the article above. Good luck! Lynn
Toggle Commented Oct 27, 2017 on Write Better Executive Summaries at Business Writing
Jessica, thanks so much for that bit of history. Interesting! Lynn
Toggle Commented Oct 23, 2017 on Whistler's Apostrophe Challenge at Business Writing
Hi Geraldine, Thanks for your comment! I wonder how far you are in the series. At the end of "The Beautiful Mystery," poor Beauvoir! I can't stand what's happened to him. But what a rich story. I did not catch "timber" myself. If it hadn't been for the library patron who penciled in the correct version, I would not have relearned that lesson. Lynn
Toggle Commented Oct 23, 2017 on Timber! (or Timbre?) at Business Writing
Hi Pat, I LOVE that example! The writer needs some counseling from human resources--or maybe better proofreading skills? Thanks for the smile in return. Lynn
Toggle Commented Oct 20, 2017 on Timber! (or Timbre?) at Business Writing
Thanks, Tommaso. I agree. Lynn
GOMU, type THANK YOU in the search box, and you will find many more blog posts on saying thank you. If you are reading this blog from a computer, the search box should be at top right. If you are on your phone, scroll to the very bottom of your screen, and the search box should appear. If neither of those approaches works, type "business writing blog" and "thank you" in your own internet search. Good luck! Lynn
Toggle Commented Oct 17, 2017 on Remember to Say "Thank You" at Business Writing
Thank you for taking the time to comment, Tommaso, Kristyna, Virginia, and Anita. Tommaso, thank you for letting us know that the same issue occurs in Italy. I wonder whether it occurs all around the world. Kristyna, that's an excellent caution, and I'm glad you brought it up. Indeed, sometimes we need to push back and say "Let's discuss what happened" rather than instantly accept blame. When I mentioned apologizing even when we don't think we did anything wrong, I was thinking of times when we could not have known we would upset someone, yet we did. Sometimes we even might have had a little voice telling us not to do what we did. I know in my original response to the woman who became upset with me, I did have a momentary thought that I should elaborate. When I ignored it, my conciseness got me into trouble. Virginia, you brought me a big smile. Anita, well-said. I agree. Lynn
Shelley, a wise woman indeed. I love succinct advice like that. Lynn
Barb, I like your broadening the reminder to any use of "you" in a response. Good advice! Lynn
Hi Andrea, Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Regarding Sales and Marketing, I always judge the effectiveness of communication by whether it connects with the audience. My experience twice going through this process with elderly people is that the Sales and Marketing label is jarring. Because of how it feels to me in the target audience, I'm not going to recommend it. Maybe it's semantics, maybe more. I like your suggestion of Certified Service Animals Only. No Pets Allowed. I think people apologize in this case not because they have done anything wrong but because they are sorry to disappoint. I appreciate your four cents! Lynn