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Lynn Gaertner-Johnston
I'm a consultant and business writing expert who's been blogging since 2005.
Recent Activity
Hi Emmanuelle, Email correspondents can be so frustrating! The other day I wrote to someone with a request. She wrote back telling me she needed the details, including the time of day. All the details--includng the time-- were in the email! The time was even in my first sentence. I ended up calling her instead. That said, sometimes I realize that I myself have read an email too fast, or ignored one. Thanks for commenting. Lynn
Thanks, Suzie. I am beginning to understand. Lynn
Hi Judi, Thanks for your comment and for echoing Laura's concern. I hope it gets people's attention. Perhaps I need to do another post on the importance of providing an RSVP. Lynn
Hi Laura, That's a great example of when a simple no message would help the other person. Thanks for sharing it. Lynn
Hi Suzie, Wow! I have no idea what your first paragraph says. Can you give me a clue? I do need to stick up for youth, however. I know many young people who are excellent spellers and writers. Lynn
Hi Stacy, Good point about only helping managers who find the article. I will think about how to spread the word more widely. Good luck finding a new job and good manager! Lynn
Hi Jessica, I am sorry that I do not understand your question. It sounds specific to your situation; for that reason, I would talk with your managers about it. Lynn
Olivia, good point. The "and" rendering makes "ham and eggs" one dish. The "or" indicates two dishes. It depends what one is trying to convey. Lynn
Hi everyone! I appreciate your comments. Brooke, thank you for those two tomes. I look forward to dipping into them. George, your search string brought up several gems. Thank you! John, thank you for the correction. I've made the change. I had proofread the piece several times but then made a change in that sentence. Silly me! Nick, hah! Yes, I've fallen off my high horse--but only temporarily. Allison, "Bad English" sounds good. Thanks for the tip. Lynn
Good catch, Peter. Lynn
Hi Jane, Thanks for the explanation. Isn't it interesting how long those early life lessons stick? Lynn
Erica and Virginia, you are right! Thanks for commenting. Lynn
Hi Shalom, I think "The AP Stylebook" is a reasonable size and is right for most businesses. The issue is that there are many things a company needs to decide for itself. Those items belong in a style sheet. Thanks for stopping by. Lynn
Jennifer, nice work! I hope the assistant has a strong sense of the importance of this project. A style sheet is not fluff--it can be a valuable tool for clarity, efficiency, and consistency. Lynn
David, you are welcome. Thanks for letting me know about your plans. Lynn
Hi Patty, I like your changes, and I'm so glad you asked "Get it?" You made me look twice and enjoy your cool idea! I'd put a colon after "The following items are not allowed in this container." That's a perfect introduction for a colon. You win the prize too! Lynn
Hi Jane, Thanks for your thorough review of the dumpster sign. I'm glad you had a good time with it. Of course, you caught all the items I intended: the missing colon, the missing hyphen, and the extra apostrophe. I was surprised that you recommended changing "and" to "or" in the bullet point "TVs, computers and monitors" and the one after it. "And" seems more inclusive and therefore appropriate. I would like to know what motivated your change. I found your examples of asbestos-containing materials helpful. And the phone number is a great idea. I also like your suggestion about including the specific dollar amount of the fine. For the "further punishment," I think the sign painter was having fun--and they got my attention. Thanks again for participating. You win the prize! Lynn
Hi Debby, I've noticed the lack of comments too. Maybe people just aren't moved by the topic. But they should be, right? I wish there were a style sheet at your company too. Fonts, signatures, formats--having consistency in those (not to mention a range of other things) would make life easier for you and clearer for your customers. Have you tried to promote a style sheet? Good luck. Lynn
Filomena, congratulations! And thanks for letting me know. Lynn
Hi Michele, Congratulations! Two wrong shows a strong basic knowledge, and it sounds like you understand the errors. Thanks for your thoughtful message. Lynn
Ivan, you are welcome. I will put that topic in my list of possibilities. Lynn
Nice work, MeshLynn! I know you can retain it. One way is to review this blog post--or others on the topic--several days in a row. Or write your own examples for several days. Those activities will help your learning stick. Lynn
Patty, congratulations on your progress, and thank you for your thoughtful comment. Let me know if you get stuck on any examples. Lynn
Tracy, thank you so much for correcting me about "to" and -ing forms. I had forgotten about the use with prepositions. I will do my best to correct my comment to Ivan. I'm glad you passed the tests! Lynn
Ivan, thank you for taking the time to share a thoughtful comment. I appreciate it! I'm editing this comment, which I wrote last night, after another reader questioned me about it. You will notice some differences in the paragraphs below. I would like to return your kindness by making a small correction. I hope that's okay with you. "To learning" is not correct. Was that perhaps a typo? What you wanted was "to learn." Although "to learn" and "learning" are sometimes interchangeable, the -ing form in your example ("to learning") is not correct with "to." These examples are interchangeable: To learn is very rewarding. Learning is very rewarding. Notice that in both examples the words before "is" serve as a noun, the thing that is the subject of the sentence. In your example, "who are challenged to learning how to write well," it would be correct to say "challenged learning" or "challenged to learn." But "challenged to learning" is incorrect. I wish I could say that "to" never works with an -ing form, but that is not the case. These examples are correct: I am open to learning the violin. He is looking forward to eating sushi. We are averse to getting a puppy. In the examples above the word "to" acts as a preposition, the same way it does in these examples: I am open to violin lessons. He is looking forward to vacation. We are averse to the work of training a puppy. I hope these comments are helpful rather than confusing. As a native English speaker, sometimes I am challenged to explain concepts that I have been applying since early childhood. Again, thank you for your generous comment. Lynn