by Barbara McNichol
A group of over-50s in my neighborhood are learning to love playing pickleball on our brand new pickleball courts. Players with a mixed bag of talent show up—from non-athletic newbies to proven tournament champs.
One of those tourney players recently told me that, to comply with the rules, I needed to change my serve. Not only that, she shared strategy tips I’d not heard before. Playing with her as a partner gave me the chance to practice those tips—both when she reminded me and when she didn’t.
Feeling a little scrambled, I came away thinking, “How many new techniques can I apply at once?”
Back at my computer, I can better empathize with writers as they struggle to apply a number of new techniques that will improve their writing game. Practicing my pickleball serve again and again can be like rewriting paragraphs repeatedly until they work!
That’s Why We Attend Workshops
Applying writing tips in a WordShop session provides an optimal opportunity for new habits to “stick.” That’s why I invite you to participate in an upcoming Business Writing Skills WordShop in Tucson, Arizona, sponsored by Association of Talent Development (formerly ASTD).
It’s Tuesday morning April 21, 2015, at Viscount Suites in Tucson—breakfast included. Full details here.
Just as practicing my new serve is worth my while, I encourage you to invest time learning and applying new writing techniques. I guarantee you’ll gain a lot in this interactive session—and you’ll know what to practice going forward.
Did I say it will be fun? With breakfast, too! Sign up today!
How do you learn new techniques best, whether it’s on the pickleball court or at your writing desk?
Take a fun grammar quiz. Only 18 questions!
You get instant feedback on your score and the right answers.
It challenged me in places and clarified a few things, too. Mostly, it’s just fun to do!
Go ahead. Tell me if you found it helpful, too! What surprised you? Did you disagree with any?
Leave your comments here.
By Barbara McNichol
My attention was recently drawn to an article in Ragan Report (great resource for communicators) that puts the “Top 25 Grammar and Language Mistakes” in your face. Some, in fact, are Word Trippers that I include in my ebook.
This handful of grammar glitches stood out for me. I’m eager to point them out because they’re extremely important to good writing. I encourage you to take them to heart.
- Using “could of,” “would of,” “should of.” These are all 100 percent wrong, born of our sloppy speaking styles—could’ve, would’ve, should’ve. What you want to write is could have, would have, should have. We all coulda, woulda, shoulda become better at grammar.
- Using “me and somebody.” I tell my children that it’s common courtesy to put the other person first. Thus you should always say, “Fred and I went to the gym together,” or “Suzie and I saw that movie.”
- Using “that” instead of “who” (and vice versa). If you’re writing about people, always use who. If a company president says, “employees that are affected by layoffs will be greatly missed,” no one is likely to believe him because he’s treating them as objects by using the word that.
- Using “they” when referring to a business. “Starbucks said they would give everyone a free latte today.” Although this might sound right, the correct sentence is: “Starbucks said it would give everyone a free latte today.” And if that grates on your ears, then rewrite the sentence to avoid the problem: “Starbucks is offering everyone a free latte today.”
Want to peruse the whole article so you can learn from all 25 mistakes? Here’s the link.
Please share other grammar glitches that might trip you in the comments section below.