There it was again — a random capital. The offender was the "M" at the beginning of "Mother," as in "Her Mother was the first to notice she could really sing."

If it had been "Mother told me she thought I could really sing," it would have been fine and dandy because "Mother" would have been serving as a proper noun there, referring to a particular maternal figure. But when it's not standing in for a name, "mother" should not be capitalized.  Continue reading...
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Earlier this month, a post by Dan Frommer on Business Insider had this to say about Google, Facebook and Apple: "Recently, all three companies have been making a lot of 'acq-hires,' where they buy a company to acquire its human resources." You read that right: acq-hire. Where did this odd word come from?  Continue reading...
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English is my native tongue, language is my beat, and corporate America is where I earn my daily crust. Nevertheless, every so often I encounter an English word — in a corporate memo, speech, or email — that mystifies me. I've seen the word before; I've just never seen it used that way. I've always assumed the word meant one thing; here it obviously means something very different.  Continue reading...
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We've been exploring the online presence of companies recently in the Lounge. The language that companies use to present their public face has piqued our curiosity and we've been thinking about what purpose these self-reports from companies serve.  Continue reading...
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Wendalyn Nichols, editor of the Copyediting newsletter, offers useful tips to copy editors and anyone else who prizes clear and orderly writing. Here she takes aim at "corporate speak" at its most infuriating.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Business Buzzwords to Avoid

Impact. Ideate. Interface. Those are just 3 of 30 business buzzwords that you should remove from your vocabulary. See goodcopybadcopy for the whole list.
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I recently met with a client — the CEO of a non-profit organization — who announced that he wanted a communications plan. Having been around the block a few times I knew enough to ask a tough, penetrating question: "What exactly do you mean?"  Continue reading...
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