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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...

Open to suggestions!

Hi everyone! I was looking at this famous speaker's website, and on the page about his speaking, there's a typo. It's the all-to-common mistake, using everyday for every day. I've talked about this before, but I'm continuing to see so many mistakes! Everyday (one...

Helloooo, NSA!

Well, what a hot diggity thrill it is to have an article published in Speaker magazine. (Fellow grammar geeks, that's a lowercase "m" in "magazine": It's Speaker magazine, not Speaker Magazine, according to the magazine cover.) My name is Liz Coursen. I live in...

What editors read.

As it happens, most all of my pleasure reading has to do with the research I'm doing, am going to do, or want to do, so, not surprisingly, these titles are practical while being fun and challenging, if you know what I mean. Here's what is on my bedside table: Race and...

Damning with Faint Praise

Damning with Faint Praise: Positive (Not!) Prose Are any of these phrases on your website? Do any of the feedbacks or testimonials on your site contain any of these phrases? Do you use any when describing your services, your products...yourself? Most of the phrases...

Hello, Word Press???

Hey, before I'd comment on an SEO score, I'd make darn good and sure my sentences were correct! These are all run-on sentences, which is such a juvenile mistakes that it blows my mind. A friend of mine told me that the "sweet spot" for SEO writing is 8th grade; in...

Let's edit CNN! Its stuff is awful!

Wow, you'd think that with all the super smart people who work at CNN, you'd find correct copy. Don't bet the house. Here are just a couple of things from just one article: 1) His campaign staffers set up a politically-active nonprofit... Gosh, I thought everyone...

Edit THIS!

How many mistakes? I count three, which, in my opinion, is three too many for this published author. Attendance in our 12 week course gives you access to special pricing (up to 50% off) on noted live events. (Note: not all live events will hold the same discounts,...

The path to publication

The path to publication is generally fraught with pitfalls and perils. Wow, did I find that out when I was trying to get an article in Speaker magazine. I had pitched an article about how to create compelling copy in the summer, which was not due until the middle of...

#1 grammar mistake made by speakers

This is a gimme: Audience is a singular noun. Yes, I know that audience refers to a group of people, but it is one of many nouns called collective nouns, nouns that refer to more than one person but are considered singular nouns for purposes of pronoun and verb form....

Comma Common Sense, Quiz I

My first speaking gig of the year happened January 2, 2018, when I presented a 90-minute workshop to the Sarasota Fiction Writers, at Selby Library. "Comma Common Sense" featured two quizzes; here's the first one. There's no doubt that commas are advanced. No, you...

Cool sentence! Check this out!

This maybe related to exercises role in positively affecting the immune system. Look how correcting two seemingly minor mistakes—a space and an apostrophe—makes this sentence understandable: This may be related to exercise's role in positively affecting the immune...

Worst Sentence of the Month!

Wow! Jaw-droppingly horrible. A drama based on the elite crew of firemen from Prescott, Arizona who battled a wildfire in Yarnell, AZ Iin June 2013 that claimed the lives of 19 of their members. Crew is a singular noun, so you can't say "their" members. Comma after...

Why this dog won't hunt.

As I'm sure you know by now, I love finding mistakes on sites that belong to "internationally famous" and "global best-selling" authors. Here's a dandy sentence I just found: This talk goes behind the scenes of some of the most beloved companies in the world to offer...

A really bad sentence.

I'm writing two books right now—Comma Common Sense and Happy Hyphens (a tentative title)—and am collecting examples of how not to use commas and hyphens. Where could I go to collect examples faster than to the referral organization to which I belong and look at its...

The new trite: an update on "uppity" nonstarters.

I've noticed an uptick in "up" words that are, well, they are stupid. We've already discussed the inanity of "up-skill." Who thought up that gem? Just now, however, on a deplorably messy site, I found another "uppity" nonstarter: up-level. Perhaps it's not as stupid...

Jaw-dropping doesn't begin to describe…

You know, I'm beyond "over" smug people who are "authors." You watch someone swank around saying, "I'm a published author," or "I'm a bestselling author," and then you pick up his or her book and the book is littered with mistakes! Or you visit some "coaching" site, a...

The #1 Mistake.

Sure, taken individually, the #1 editing mistake is not knowing its from it's. That's a super-sloppy mistake, since spellcheck invariably places a gee-I'm-just-a-computer-so-you-should-probably-check-this blue line under the its/it's, and only the most arrogant of...

Plea to an unnamed organization.

So there I was, sitting at the last luncheon of a 5-day conference, minding my own business, when suddenly a manuscript was thrust into my hands by a tablemate...right as the chicken was being served! Well, I put down my fork and, more to be polite than anything else,...

Wow, don't make this mistake!

When you are a "professional" speaker and (supposedly) a rock star author/publisher and marketing "expert," you just don't make this bush league mistake on the—I guess you'd call it a "caption"—caption of your online profile. The bush league mistake I'm referring to...

Just when you think…

...then you see this. Ugh! Ouch! Nooooo! We will be selecting the speaker who we feel will deliver what the session requires to upskill the audience. "Upskill"? What genius thought of that? Upskilling? Upskilled? She is a dynamic speaker who routinely upskills a...

Yikes!!

Please don't tout your bona fides as a "thought leader" and "visionary" and then string together two sentences like these: Our team is comprised of thoughtful, hard-working individuals, but we know we're not perfect. Here's what we're working on everyday to deliver a...

Public workshops.

I do a lot of public speaking. You know, like when "the public" can come in to your program. Not when you're speaking in a conference, when 1500 people have to choose between your workshop and two others. Not when you're speaking to a group like the PEO or DAR, when...

Jaw-dropping.

I was poking around tonight, looking at "web developers" (and I use that term loosely) and their sites. Now, I'm not trying to be a you-know-what, but I quickly put together eight pages in a new "More BAD Sentences" list, and these sentences will appear in quizzes...

Yes, the rumors are true!

Sometimes your press can be so good it's (almost) embarrassing. Cough, cough! Liz Coursen is coming! Yes, the rumors are true - Liz Coursen is coming back to our Library District! She will be at the Headquarters library Saturday, July 22 at 10:30 am to present on Cats...

The company we keep

If you run with a crowd of people who spout clichés, chances are good you'll think clichés are cool. Think again, my friend. Clichés aren't au courant; oh, no, clichés are passé. That's what makes 'em clichés! I thought I'd publish this list, which has been included...

Unnecessary FAT

As someone who is toting around a smidgen of unnecessary weight, I make sure my sentences are sleek and streamlined. So, let me ask you: What's the difference between "sleek" and "streamlined"? Answer: Not enough. (Actually, the two words are pretty much synonymous.)...

The JULY QUIZ is here!

You may refine your search by selecting a specific "Event Type". In addition, he is a Certified Trainer and hold a Credential for Leadership Training. Alan is an international creative thinking consultant with 40 years hands-on experience around the globe. If your...

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