Replay Thursday

It’s time for a review of recent blog posts just in case you’ve missed them. We call this Replay Thursday. Here are posts from Proof That proofreading blog and 60 Is The New 60 blog during the past week.

Email And Emphasis

It is really important–particularly in email–to pay attention to how someone may read what you’re writing. Especially because they can’t see you and read your body language. One particular incident that I’ve seen is using “resent.” Do you mean “resent” or do you mean “re-sent”? The reader can’t tell from your body language what your intent is, so it is important to read your emails as someone else might read them.

If you think an email could be misconstrued, rewrite it. Personally, I think it is far more important that the information is accurate, things are spelled correctly, and everything is grammatically correct than that you impressed them with vocabulary.

Sometimes when people misunderstand your email, they fire back something in self-defense that they normally wouldn’t, which leaves you wondering what in the world is wrong with them.

Back in the “olden” days (before email), you had to write out a letter or note with what you wanted to say. Then you had to put a stamp on it, walk it to your mailbox or the post office, and wait for a response. That process gave you a little more time to draft, redraft, and draft again the perfect message. Today, we are moving so fast and trying to get so much done that we seldom slow down and really think about what we’re doing. Here are a few other things that come up in email that are completely avoidable:

  • Don’t get too used to using the “shorthand” name entry for your emails. There could be more than one person in your contacts list whose email starts with “ks,” so you could end up sending it to someone you didn’t intend to, which could easily have disastrous consequences.
  • Make sure the email address is spelled correctly. It is embarrassing to have to re-send an email just to the client because you got their email address wrong. Plus, anyone who hits “reply all” to that email will get a message that the client’s email didn’t go through and will either have to look it up or leave them off. Neither of those is a good option.
  • Don’t fire off an email when you’re angry. You can write it out–but I would suggest you leave the “to” line blank–but let it simmer for a while. There is no better way to start an email war than to fire the first shot with an angry (and unnecessary) email. The odds of successfully recalling such an email are very, very small.

So drop the “lawyerspeak” and spend more of your energy making sure the facts are correct, things are spelled correctly, and your intent is understood. Email is certainly a valuable tool, but it is easily misused so be careful!

Confusing Words Of The Week

It’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

  • ballot – a sheet of paper used to cast a secret vote
  • ballet – a theatrical art form using dancing, music, and scenery to convey a story, theme, or atmosphere

Memory tips:

  • ballot – remember the “o” is the same as in vOte
  • ballet – I just think of the sound I would make if I was on tippy toes “EEEEEEE”

Grammar Giggles – Let’s Whip The Whipped Cream

This was the menu for a restaurant I stopped at on my way out of town this past weekend. To “whip” cream is the action of whipping or stirring vigorously to thicken it. Once you are done, it is “whipped” cream. So this menu is incorrect. It should say “whipped” cream. But at least they were consistent!

Confusing Words Of The Week

It’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

  • Flier – a pilot
    • Her grandfather was a flier in World War II.
  • Flyer – an advertising brochure
    • The flyer didn’t have the event’s start time.

Memory tips:

  • Flier – Remember the “i” in Flier is like the “i” in Pilot
  • Flyer – Just think about all the advertising brochures you get and how you would like to fold them into paper airplanes that look kind of like the letter “y” upside down–and they don’t need a flier