Talking Chairs
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12 quotations that perfectly describe th...

To get an idea of what it’s like to write for a living, turn to those who can turn a phrase. Now that he’s in his teen years, my son and I have been having more serious conversations about his choice of career. (“More serious” means he no longer wants to be an astronaut paleontologist.) We’ve spent a lot of time talking about writing careers. From corporate communications to book editing, there are plenty of career options for people who love to write—but I also want him to understand what it’s like to write for a living. Here are a few quotations from...
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5 tips for writing recruitment ads

Looking for someone to join your corporate communications team? Maybe you need a graphic designer or a copywriter. Of course, the person you’re looking for must not only be talented and creative, but must also fit in with your team. Recruiting can be tough. But there is a way to make the recruiting process easier — a way that uses your expert writing and strategic communication skills — crafting a well written, descriptive, and creative recruitment piece. Here are some tips for writing recruitment copy. Personalize it This may seem obvious, but let people know that...
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6 ways to practice better writing

“Practice as if you are the worst; perform as if you are the best.”—Jaspher Kantuna Although I’ve been writing and editing professionally for more than 15 years, refining my abilities is something I still struggle with. Despite my dedication to the craft of writing, I’ll have moments when I stare at a blank screen, unable to call up the right words. Sometimes, I’ll go back to something I’ve published and wonder what the heck I was thinking when I wrote it. Writing is a process of practicing, honing and perfecting. Here are some ways to sharpen your skills: 1....
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10 terrific terms to delight word lovers

Like other word nerds, I love to collect quotes about the power of words. Those of us who make a living from words appreciate their power to convey even the most subtle shades of meaning. For example, I love that although they are all synonyms for “arrogant,” the words “pretentious,” “ostentatious,” “haughty,” and “preening” each have different meanings under the surface. Here is a list of some of my favorite words, along with insights on their shades of meaning. Nonplussed— bewildered or unsure of how to respond. I always think of nonplussed as that...
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50 alternatives to the word “excit...

We’ve all seen it, and we’ve likely done it. Beginning a press release with, “Today, Noddles Company is excited to announce the launch of its new Noddle 6.0 product,” or using a quote from the CEO that states, “We are excited about this new partnership with ABC Associates,” is becoming tired. It doesn’t matter what’s being announced—“excited” is the go-to verb among communications professionals. For example, “Today we are excited to announce a new award for outstanding achievement in the field of press release writing excellence.” Make it...
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How to use the ellipsis

In a world of texting and snapchatting, everyone is trying to say more with less. We abbreviate, we truncate, we punctuate—all to communicate using the fewest characters. In my own texting, I use ellipses excessively: “While I’m thinking about it … can you please check that link.” “Doctor’s appointment …10 a.m. … Wednesday.” I’ve even caught myself misusing the ellipsis at work. Wait a minute, did I just write: “I can’t make today’s meeting …too many other meetings …can we reschedule?” in an email to my boss? My overuse...
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The 8 parts of speech: A refresher

Can you name the eight parts of speech? I remember that there are nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, and prepositions, but what’s the eighth? Interjections. Oh, yes! It’s been way too long since I’ve watched “Schoolhouse Rock” As professional writers and editors, we sometimes focus so much on word choice, sentence structure and clear writing that we may forget the basics. Here’s a review of the eight parts of speech: 1. Nouns Common nouns refer to a person, place or thing. Proper nouns refer to a specific person, place or thing. Proper...
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9 stellar quotes from “A Christmas...

One of the holiday traditions in my house is to read “A Christmas Carol” to my kids. We read it because no matter how many movie versions you see of this classic, nothing compares to Charles Dickens’ style and storytelling. Now that my kids are older, this will likely be the last year we read it together. In honor of the master and this yuletide staple, here are nine powerful quotations from “A Christmas Carol” (minus Tiny Tim’s wisdom): “Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.” “But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the...