Yearly Archives: 2018

‘Improved experience’? Probably weasel words

Hootsuite has an “improved experience” coming for users. Forgive me for being suspicious (too many years of seeing weasel words in corporate announcements), but I doubt they mean for those of us with free plans. Here’s the message, complete with an odd word choice in the first line; highlighting from the Hemingway app shows most […]

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Back up your files; no, really, do it now

My computer is now back from the shop/hospital/morgue, and you’d be right to say I should have seen this coming. My (formerly) trusty MacBook Pro was ancient, in tech terms – 2010, to be exact. The year sticks in my mind because it was part of my “back to school” supplies for my BA at […]

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Let songwriters inspire your storytelling

You’ll find some of the best storytellers in the music world. Songwriters use lyrics to create a mood or trigger emotion. They are adept at alliteration, and use rhyme and rhythm to help listeners feel the tale behind the tune. Expressive language gets the point across in a compact number of words. My July newsletter […]

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Flex your editing muscles to tighten flabby reports

Writing experts agree that you should write first, edit later. Ann Handley calls this embracing “the Ugly First Draft.” For Anne Lamott, it’s “the shitty first draft;” for Daphne Gray-Grant, “the crappy first draft.” But at some point you need to wrestle that first draft into shape. You have to revise and tweak and polish […]

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The best of the blog so far in 2018

Somewhere along my 11 years of blogging, I started sharing the most-read blog posts part way through the year and at year-end. So now that we’ve already hit mid-year (how is that possible?), here are a half-dozen of them so far in 2018. I’m often inspired to blog about what’s going on around me: My […]

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How to earn trust in an untrusting world

Content may be king, but relationships are royalty, according to Dan Tisch, APR, of Argyle Public Relationships. In a talk at IABC/Toronto’s annual general meeting, Dan noted that public relations and communications people should let others focus on churning out content. What we should be doing is making sure the content we produce can build […]

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It’s true, you CAN make legal statements readable

Are you a Fitbit fan? I am. I’ve been wearing the step tracker since December 2014, and it encourages me to look for reasons to take a few extra steps, like parking further away from a store or the train station, or taking the long way home after a short walk with Mom. Fitbit’s “Who […]

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In a job transition? 7 steps to update your LinkedIn profile

You may have left a job, or you’re looking for a new job with a different focus. Maybe you retired but are still open for something new, even if you aren’t actively looking. It’s time to update your LinkedIn profile. I’ve been helping a friend do just that, and thought others might find the advice […]

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Why walk when you can fly?

Our neighbourhood is atwitter (sorry) with robins this spring. One scurried along the sidewalk ahead of me the other day, tiny legs flashing, just edging out of my way. “Why would you walk when you can fly?” I wondered. It suddenly hit me that we could ask ourselves the same thing. Why would we keep […]

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So many ways to get words wrong

Stumbling over a few misused words recently brought to mind the 1987 movie, The Princess Bride. Vezzini (Wallace Shawn), the “mastermind” hired to kidnap the princess, constantly describes unfolding events as “inconceivable.” Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) says, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” * I […]

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