Tag Archives: Rants

Why I Hate Plural Names

I recently read an article on business writers, referring to the ‘ … Malcom Gladwells, Jim Collinses and Harvey MacKays of this century.  I really hate plural name references, as if there is more than one Malcom Gladwell or Jim Collins in a group somewhere. Read More »

Why I Hate ‘Soft Skills’

I love the concept but hate the term – let me explain. I’ve dedicated my entire career to empowering business leaders to enhance their workplace communication skills. Taking away some of their pain when they interact with colleagues, staff, managers or customers in writing, in person and in presentations  – that’s what I love most and do best. Read More »

I Hate ‘reply all’

I hate being copied on responses that I don’t need to see. I bet you do, too. Someone responds to a question asked in a group email with a careless ‘reply all’ response because they were lazy or inept to do the right thing.
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Why I Hate ‘No Problem’

Why do so many people respond to ‘Thank you.’ with ‘No Problem.’ today? I doubt that many of them felt that the act I just thanked them for was, in fact, a problem. Maybe it would usually be a problem, but not this time. Or maybe a problem with other people, but not me. Read More »

Why I Hate ‘Unique’

Regular readers know how much I love to rant about ineffective word choices, so please humor me about ‘very unique’. ‘Unique’ can’t be modified. Ever. Period. Therefore ‘very unique’ is wrong, so is ‘somewhat unique’ and ‘really unique’. Read More »

Why I Hate ‘You Guys’

A reader asked what I thought about using the phrase you guys’ when talking to a group of people. While there may be nothing wrong with it and lots of people use it, there’s nothing really right with it, either. And you never know when someone in your audience might take offense at it. In contemporary usage, it’s usually gender-neutral, but still a little lame.

So, I try to avoid that phrase when I can. Instead, I try to use ‘you’, all of you’ or even ‘you folks’ as less lame alternatives. And there’s nothing wrong with the traditional ‘ladies and gentlemen’ either.

So, when I’m on top of my game, you guys will not hear me say ‘you guys’

Why I Hate ‘two (2)’

I recently got a document from a client asking me to review and comment. It included the phrase ‘… schedule two (2) planning meetings … ‘. I’m not making this up.  I don’t get it – people still think they need to tell readers that the word ‘two’ means 2. Most workplace readers know that and reminding them can be insulting or annoying. It is to me.

Here’s a simple solution. With numerical references ‘zero’ – ‘nine’, write out the words, as in ‘three weeks’ or ‘eight revisions’. For references to ten or greater, use numbers, as in ’20 team members’ or ’11 percent’. But there’s never a good reason to do it two (2) times. Make sense?

We Know Where Cleveland Is!

I regularly attend networking or business events in Cleveland, where everyone introduces their businesses. Lots of people mention that they’re located in Cleveland, Ohio or Lakewood, Ohio or Beachwood, Ohio. They don’t bother to realize that they don’t need to remind people that these locations were in Ohio. Everyone knows that. Now, if they were in an obscure town like Lameville Heights, some people might need to know that was in Ohio. Read More »