Business Writing: Grammar Goofs and Post Grape-Nuts Flakes

Catching grammar goofs could be an entertaining game as they pop up in social media—-if the prevalence of such errors didn’t make it boring child’s play. But occasionally, something surprises me.

I grabbed my bowl of cereal and sat down to the breakfast table this morning only to read this copy in big bold print on the back of the Post Grape-Nut Flakes box:
This little flake …Read More

You Want Me to CALL? Like on the Phone?

It happened again.  Just about the time I’m ready to leave the office for the day and head home, an email pops into my inbox from our marketing director, Kari. The forwarded subject line from my publisher says “URGENT.”

Kari’s email basically states that yes, I can be available for an interview with a newspaper journalist that day to discuss my book Booher’s Rules of Business Grammar to “celebrate” …Read More

National Punctuation Day: 3 Biggest Punctuation Errors

Are you curious about the three punctuation errors that surface most often when participants bring writing samples to our business and technical writing workshops? Although we haven’t kept a formal list, hands down, these are the three that take top honors:
Run-on sentences (missing or inadequate punctuation)
The biggest punctuation pitfall that renders a sentence powerless is the run-on. It’s as noticeable as a train wreck. Here …Read More

Job Openings and Grammar Gaps: Journalism Majors Versus English Majors

At the risk of offending, I’m posing a question here that maybe some of you can weigh in on with your theories. Though not something that keeps me awake at night, my curiosity grows year by year—in fact, every time we post a job opening and go through the interviewing process as we’ve just now done.

Question: Why do journalism majors have much weak grammar skills …Read More

Facebook Users Aren’t the Only Ones Judging Your Grammar

When McGraw-Hill released my latest book Booher’s Rules of Business Grammar: 101 Fast and Easy Ways to Correct the Most Common Errors, I stumbled across the Facebook group, “I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar.”

Well, it looks as though these Facebook group members are not alone. Marketing guru Seth Godin also admits to this “moral failing,” as he put it in his blog post …Read More

“She Went Missing”

Sucking the Life Out of Strong Verbs

Almost daily TV broadcasters make announcements like these:  Sydney Lancaster went missing yesterday after leaving work at 6:00 in his red Toyota. Went missing? Is this like gone fishing or gone to the movies? Whatever happened to Sydney IS missing. We don’t know that he went anywhere.  In fact, he may have been dragged kicking and screaming by an …Read More

Write with Attitude—Remove the Mystery

Suppose you are CEO and your VP of sales says to you, “The client rejected our proposal, and you may also be surprised to discover that our name has been removed from the bidders list.” You’d probably be wondering who removed your name from the client’s bidders list.

The sentence doesn’t provide that information. And therein lies the problem with passive voice. (Definition below) Does your …Read More