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LinkedIn "Learning" stinks!

LinkedIn "Learning" stinks. LinkedIn "Learning," at least as far as American English goes, is jaw-droppingly horrible. I think I already said that—somewhere, sometime, and if I didn't, I meant to!—but I continue to get emails from LinkedIn, and those emails continue...

How to punctuate with parentheses, Part I.

Hey, this is easy. Parentheses are used to create an aside to the reader, and are less of a break than dashes, but more profound than the break created by a comma or commas. And, unlike commas or dashes, parentheses only come in pairs. Though the decision whether or...

Editing: Why bother?

Gee, why bother to breathe? When you use your language with authority, then by gosh and by golly, you look like an authority. With authority comes credibility, and with credibility comes that most important coin: trust. A couple of weeks ago, I took my car to a car...

How to use a semicolon, Part II

The second main use of the semicolon is to separate items in a list when one item has its own comma. For example: My favorite books are Gone With the Wind, Alas, Babylon, and The Bronze Bow. How many books are in that list? Three? Four? Not sure? It helps to remember...

How to use a semicolon, Part I

There are two main uses of the semicolon (;): to join two complete sentences without benefit of a conjunction, and to separate items in a list when one (or more) of the items has a comma of its own. In the first use, the trick is to imagine a see-saw. (Do we still...

I love you, Randy Rainbow!

Yes, it's official! I have publicly declared my love for YouTube star Randy Rainbow in The New York Times! Permalink: https://nyti.ms/2NdtCe5#permid=28486337 If you don't know Randy, you need to! "Hey, USA we just elected us a mean girl!" Genius!! Here are YouTube.com...

Would you pay for this person's advice?

Question: If someone advertised that he (or she!) is a WordPress "expert" and a "business adviser," but misspelled the word "adviser," would you have any confidence whatsoever that his (or her!) advice would be worth, well, anything? Answer: Hell, no! But, gee, that's...

Yukking it up on LinkedIn

I know a lot of people—and a lot of people I respect, a lot—think that LinkedIn is the greatest thing since sliced bread. While I've never been enamored of the whole "connectedness" thing and the thought of having a million billion "followers" makes me feel like...

Yours in Good Grammar: "Breakthrough"

Yours in good grammar: The Space Makes the Case! A “breakthrough” is defined as “a significant or sudden advance, development, or achievement that removes a barrier to progress; a person’s first success.” “Breakthrough” is one of a group of words, like cleanup, login,...

Problematic WordPress copy with answers, Part I.

These sentences are part of the 52-sentence group I pulled from a local "WordPress expert's" site. I'm all for WordPress, and I understand that it's "open source, " etc., etc., etc., and that lots and lots of very cool people have flocked to the WordPress banner, but...

Yay! More quizzes!

Oh, I'm so happy to have my blog back. What an ordeal! Yippee! Okay, here we have a wonderful, stupendous quiz, featuring material from the same website and, get this, this is a WordPress developer's website! God only knows what his and her clients' websites look...

Another "editor" who sucks!

I am constantly and consistently amazed when I go to a self-proclaimed editor's website and find a morass of mistakes in his or her content. I don't get it. How can someone who plainly doesn't understand the rules of good grammar and correct punctuation hang out a...

Parsing the New York Times editorial board

Well, as it happens, I do have a punctuation suggestion! Well, a few, actually. Let's look at this sentence: A raid on a lawyer’s office doesn’t happen every day; it means that multiple government officials, and a federal judge, had reason to believe they’d find...

How do you make 9 mistakes in ONE sentence?

It's easy for BNI! Besides needing a comma, there are two mistakes made over and over and over and over again. The offending (and offensive) sentence: The process to become an Ambassador starts with exemplary leadership in their chapter, they are nominated by someone...

Just ask!

This morning I was tweaking an introduction, and I came across a place that made me pause: is the possessive of CBS written CBS' or CBS's? I liked the latter, simply because you do pronounce that last "s": C-B-S-ess. I went back and forth and then I had a brainwave:...

What's in a typo? A lot!

I was looking at a particular lot on an auction house's site, and came across these two sentences about the condition of the item: Thistle Brooch: Highest amethyst flower with an inclusion that appears as a chip, but it is internal. Not apparent significant chips or...

Shame on Authors!

It's pretty easy to run around and find major, jaw-dropping mistakes in the online content of people who are running around representing themselves as editors or publishers. In fact, it's not "pretty" easy, it's damn easy. But, here's the thing. All you authors, you...

And THIS is EXCELLENCE?

At some point in life, you come to a fork in the road: Do I want to go along with the crowd or do I not give a rip. My fork has been reached, and I've chosen the latter path. I'm sick and tired of sloppy writing. There. I've said it. I'm beyond sick and tired of...

No tolerance, with answers!

  1. After sharing this philosophy and system in the International Bestseller (7L) The Seven Levels of Communication: Go from Relationships to Referrals, Michael with no plans for speaking, coaching, or training was instantly inundated with requests to teach the...

Don't let people like these publish your book!

I guess nothing should surprise me, but I admit that I was shocked tonight when I picked up a flyer from a local publishing company (and I use that phrase reluctantly) named Peppertree Press. The flyer contained at least 18 out-and-out punctuation/grammar mistakes,...

No tolerance.

I admit it. I have no tolerance for people who say that they are "professional" writers but who can't write their way out of a paper sack. These are all sentences from people who take your money to write for you—in the case of the marketing company whose sentences are...

Err on the side of simplicity.

There are a number of ways you can keep the look of your writing clean, and the most obvious, easy way is to eliminate unnecessary periods. There are two ways to eliminate periods. When telling time. It is easier to comprehend, faster to type, and cleaner to use AM/PM...

Boo to this "online reputation manager"

Same deal as the previous post about The Washington Post...same exact mistake. Xxx.com is a reputation management company that is dedicated to using proven strategies to improve their clients' reputation. They have recently launched their new website on Xxx.com. Since...

Kudos to The Washington Post

I was just reading the first couple of sentences in a Washington Post article by Ben Terris. The first sentence looked like this: For half a century, the out-of-power party has used their response to the State of the Union address to capitalize on the dregs of...

Is "Done better than perfect"?

Is “done” really better than “perfect”? I was at a conference for professional speakers last weekend. The presenter was an accomplished speaker with serious chops. The kind of man who you really admire, someone who is a real role model. For speakers, at any rate, he’s...

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