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Cathy Miller
Business Writer with 30+ years of professional writing
Interests: 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk, Reading, Travel
Recent Activity
From a purely selfish standpoint, I am so sorry to read this. But, as someone who is semi-retired from business writing, I totally get it. It has been a real pleasure “meeting” you, Lynn, and I have enjoyed your breadth of wisdom. Thank you for all you’ve shared. All the best!
I used to play a little game in my corporate days. Hey, you have to find your fun where you can. :-) I would ask colleagues who used acronyms to tell me what the acronym stood for. Many could not tell me. I suspect some of the readers complaining about the spelled-out version may be in the same category. To me, if you spell it out and follow it with the acronym - e.g., subject-matter experts (SMEs)- the acronym lover can skim over the longer version to embrace their beloved acronym. ;-)
Toggle Commented Feb 6, 2019 on Acronyms and SMEs--Help! at Business Writing
I totally agree with Marcia's response. My specialty is in health care and employee benefits - an industry that wins awards for jargon. However, I assure you I still get stumped by some of its jargon even after 30-plus years in the industry.
I wish AT&T would read this, Lynn. I am not one who likes receiving text for business or personal accounts. Every month AT&T sends a text saying my auto-payment has been made. Then I receive an email with the same message. I'll take the email. Trash the text. When I researched how to opt-out of the texts, I discovered there is no opt-out. Doesn't matter if you want them or not. You get them. They think it's okay because no fee applies to the text. Who cares if it drives your customer crazy? ☺ Can you tell you hit a nerve, Lynn. ☺
I did; however, that's because a writer friend of mine uses the term to describe herself. I admit to me it sounds more like a calculus equation. I wonder how many people THAT turns off. ;-)
Toggle Commented Mar 13, 2018 on Good Word to Know: "Polymath" at Business Writing
#2 is huge in my book, Lynn. I've written several blog posts on how the simple acknowledgment of an email improves communication. I also like your suggestion to provide specific "next steps" or meeting times. Typically, I add the question, "Will that work for you?" when offering a specific date and time or certain action.
I thought of Care Advisor, but to me that sounds more like a caregiver than someone talking to you about what their facility has to offer. Just my 2 cents. ;-)
Right or wrong, skilled nursing facilities have such a horrible reputation for high cost and often (unfortunately) poor care. So, you would think they would be a bit more sensitive in this area. Why not something like Care Facility Advisor?
Oops, my link to the article didn't work. I'm diminishing my response. ;-)
I love this, Lynn, probably because I am often "just" one. There's a tip right there. The word "just' often diminishes and I know I am guilty of doing it to myself - e.g., I just wanted to follow up. Sounds like I think I need an excuse. And, yes, I did read Ellen Petry Leanse's Business Insider article about that word. ;-) I'm working on it. :-)
Hi, Lynn. I have written several blog posts on coming up with ideas for posts. I know this is only one form of writer's block but I thought I'd share a Slideshare presentation I did on my method. Hope you enjoy. ☺
Unfortunately, it falls on deaf keyboards, Lynn. ;-)
P.S. I am struggling with the notion of Al Gore and Daryl Hannah as parents of the author. ☺ See how vital the serial comma is?
I agree with you, Lynn. Isn't it interesting how passionate people get over the topic? ☺ I figure the lawsuit is an extremely effective way for the serial comma to make its point. ☺
Lynn, very nice, thorough review. :-) I added Grammarly's free version as a Firefox add-on. I always go with the free version to test it out. For me, it gets very annoying online as I try to write and it keeps highlighting "errors." Yes, I do turn it off but it seems to turn back on every time I go back to Firefox. However, that could be me. ;-) Like you, I use both Microsoft's grammar and spelling check and Grammarly. I agree, between the two, I think you get a nice result. There is one odd thing I noticed online. I'm not sure if it's Wordpress or Grammarly. However, I did notice right after adding Grammarly, my posts did some wonky things (highly technical term) ;-) For example, if I created a new paragraph in the middle of some content, it would repeat the same sentence in the original copy and in the new paragraph. I do think Grammarly is worth a try. I'm not convinced enough to try the premium version. But, again, that's just me.
Irregardless is a classic, Lynn. I wonder if it will ever die. ;-)
Wow, I am having awful flashbacks to my corporate days of writing audit reports for a consulting firm. My boss was one who agonized over every word and phrase. On many occasions, we would be in the office until 10:00 or 10:30 p.m., the evening before we delivered the report to the client. On one of those occasions, my boss came into my office around 10:15 p.m. and said, "You know I was thinking." I raised my hand, palm up, and replied, "And you need to stop that. If we cannot deliver this report in its current state, we need to find another job." Hmm, perhaps that's why my branding for my freelance business centers around, "Keep it simple." ;-) I love how many of your examples include the suggestion of speaking to the appropriate person(s). For all our technology, I often find using our voice instead of our fingers is the better form of communication. :-) So, ask yourself, does it need to be sent in writing? Or would a conversation be a better alternative?
Very helpful, Lynn. Words that end in s can be tricky. I have read a difference of opinion when it come to adding apostrophe s. Example: Arkansas' versus Arkansas's. If we're sharing pet peeves, mine is a bit off topic (typical):-) Example: it's versus its.
Thank you for the request for the link. I appreciate the link love. :-)
Love it! I just did a post on persuasive language techniques and they aced many of them (in my humble opinion) - especially the alliteration one in their name - Crocodile Cafe & Catering. ☺
Lynn, and I know you're a Notre Dame graduate. ;-) Thank you for the opportunity for sharing ideas.
Toggle Commented Jul 27, 2015 on Avoid Fake Intimacy at Business Writing
Marcia, I would agree for the most part. Few subscriptions to an ezine result in the feeling of being part of a community. However, as a professional writer who began freelancing seven years ago, my subscriptions to a select number of blogs have definitely resulted in me feeling like I'm part of a community. I have developed a small circle of freelancing friends from that experience - some I've met in person - others I've never met. That doesn't make the relationship any less of a community (in my humble opinion). I agree that there is the danger in believing your own press and an intimacy that does not exist. However, like most things in life, never say never. :-) Thanks for allowing me to share my point of view. ;-)
Toggle Commented Jul 27, 2015 on Avoid Fake Intimacy at Business Writing
I admit at first I resisted the advice until I read the entire post. I think what I was resisting was the labeling of it as "fake intimacy". When you build a community of followers, that "intimacy" is not fake. However, I agree that feeling of community without the face-to-face meetings can have us forgetting there are new individuals to our group. Forgetting we have someone new in the community can result in an almost cliquish environment. It reminds me (on a smaller scale) of using acronyms and assuming everyone knows what they mean. Frustrating for those who don't. So, point taken and appreciated. :-)
Toggle Commented Jul 24, 2015 on Avoid Fake Intimacy at Business Writing
Thanks for the review, Lynn. High praise coming from you. I will definitely check this out. :-)
The same mindless messaging is used in customer service calls. Depending on my mood, I dismiss it as rhetoric - not the "effective" kind ;-) - or I get annoyed at the response-by-rote nature of the words. I like the idea of sharing examples of a professional response; however, even the sincere becomes mindless. I'm fine, how are you? ;-)
Toggle Commented Oct 3, 2014 on When Messaging Is Mindless at Business Writing