A few months ago, a former neighbor asked me if there were any job openings in ETR’s editorial department. If so, she wanted her daughter “Gwen” – a young woman I’d known for years – to apply for a position.
You can almost always make your writing instantly stronger by chopping out the first paragraph or so. Andrew Gordon reminded me of this powerful and simple editing step when he reviewed an ETR article I’d written.
One of the biggest enemies of fine writing? The verb “to be.” In all its tenses, this verb can leach the impact out of almost any sentence. It sometimes seems impossible to avoid, but you need to seek it out and destroy it with a vengeance.
If you subscribe to Michael Masterson’s “Ready, Fire, Aim” philosophy, you’re no doubt going to notice an unappealing side effect. Sometimes, you’re going to…
“I just can’t make the time management seminar tomorrow,” Amy announced to the editorial team during a recent meeting. “I’m so busy, it’s going to kill my productivity this week!”
It must be the only hotel in New York City, nay, the world, that doesn’t have automatic doors.
But wait! It does have a doorman. Seems friendly enough when you pull up in a cab. Offers to take your bag.
But if you dare to reject his offer to carry your bag into the lobby… he lets you get the door yourself.
In my brief stint teaching college writing classes, one of the biggest problems I saw among my students was vocabulary abuse.
They’ve been calling me at least once a week for the past three months. Every time they do (at least, on the occasions when I pick up), I say the same thing: “Please don’t call me during work hours. I’ll be happy to consider this offer, but I’d rather see it in writing. Can you e-mail me the details?”