Archive for the 'writing' Category

This typo makes all English teachers cringe

I am glad I don’t work at this school and am embarrassed that this happened in my home state of North Carolina.  A road contractor committed a horrible typo on a freshly paved stretch of road near Southern Guilford High School in Greensboro rendering this area a “shcool” zone.  There are no words to describe this egregious error. 

(Photo Credit: Greensboro News & Record, Joseph Rodriguez)

That’s some typo: British Airways magazine gives Osama Bin Laden a boarding pass

This week a photo in a staff magazine from British Airways has Osama Bin Laden flying the airline first class on October 26, 2010. The photo, which shows Osama as a  frequent flyer, appeared in an article about the airline’s mobile boarding passes. The magazine is facing the heat from the media for this blunder, and ABC News reported this statement from a British Airways spokesperson: “A mistake has been made in this internal publication and we are working to find out how this occurred.”  I would say this is some mistake. There is speculation that this typo is the work of a current or former disgruntled employee.  I guess John Doe wasn’t original enough. 

What do you think about the airline’s typo?

Secrets to writing the perfect resume

One of the most read posts on my blog is “How to Write a Winning Resume.”  I thought I would offer my readers some additional tips on how to make sure your resume is the best it possibly can be. Hopefully your well-written resume will turn into a job interview!

  1. In our current economic job market with employers inundated with resumes, it is important to make sure yours is 100% free from spelling and grammar errors.  If your resume is sloppy and full of misspelled words, an employer will get the impression that you will perform sloppily on the job.  I cannot stress the importance enough of editing. Do not rely on spellcheck alone.  Ask a friend to proof it for you to hopefully catch spelling errors you may have missed.
  2. Do not include salary requirements on your resume.  You do not want to put yourself out of the running for a potential job because you are too expensive.
  3. Your resume should summarize the previous positions you have held but do not include reasons for leaving a previous job on your resume. You should be prepared to discuss this information in an interview but  never put it on your actual resume.
  4. Do not list specific references on your resume. It is acceptable to state “References Available Upon Request.” It is a good idea to take a separate sheet with you to a job interview which has your references listed in case you are asked to provide that information. 
  5. Use consistent grammar structures and verb tenses (previous jobs/past tense, current jobs/present tense).
  6. When describing relevant experience, avoid the use of personal pronouns such as “I.”

Of course you could always hire a professional resume writer (aka ME) to write your resume for you.  You can check out my business writing and consulting Web site, The Write Advice, for more information.  In addition to resumes I write all kinds of documents including press releases, Web site pages, and more.  You will receive a 20% discount if you tell me you saw this post on my blog!

If you have any resume related questions please feel free to leave a  comment and I will be glad to answer.  

Florida college forgets to use spell check

A South Florida college apparently doesn’t know how to use spell check.  Check out this billboard advertising Florida Career College with an obvious typo.  It should have said, “It’s never too late to start your career,” instead of “you career,” which is grammatically incorrect. This story was first reported by Florida television station WSVN-TV. No surprise the college failed to comment to the media.

As a college instructor I am horrified that a mistake like this was made on such a grand level.  This is definitely not the best kind of advertising to attract potential students. I can only imagine how the school’s instructors feel about the mistake.

The Grammar Police: Words that annoy me in blog writing

It’s been a while since I issued some grammar citations.  Today I was inspired after reading Trisha’s post on “The Top 5 Most Overused Words in the Blogosphere” over at It made me think about how certain words annoy me. A LOT.  As I tell my college students, if you don’t talk that way, don’t write that way.  I realize you are not writing an essay after all – it’s a blog post; but in my opinion, the same rules of good grammar should apply.

Here is my list of the Top 5 words that really get on my nerves when reading other people’s blogs:

  1. Great – “Great” is greatly overused in blog writing.  This is the greatest fill-in-the-blank I have ever used.  This product is great.  My life is great.  Get out a Thesaurus already.
  2. Seriously – This word seriously annoys me.  Seriously. And why is it typically followed by a question mark?
  3. Yummy – I love to read recipe blogs but I will skip yours if you tell me every other dish is yummy.  Or if you review food items and can’t get over how yummy they are.  If my 9-year-old tells me something is yummy I believe her.  If you do – I don’t.
  4. Texting –  Well not the word “texting” but writing your blog posts like a text message like in this example:  Thx 4 visiting my blog.  Have a gr8 day!  Or the overuse of LOL, ROFL, etc.
  5. Whatever – This word topped a recent poll as the most annoying word of 2009.  When it is written in blog posts, it is even more annoying because the shortened version of Whatevs is used.  Whatever. 

What is a word that annoys you?




P.S. Trisha – I really do think you are an influential Mom blogger.  🙂

“Unfriend” is 2009 Word of the Year

Yesterday the New Oxford American Dictionary announced on its blog the 2009 Word of the Year. Drumroll…………it is “Unfriend”.  As in I am going to unfriend you on Facebook.  In case you are living in a hole you know what I am talking about.  But for those unfamiliar with FB here is the “official” definition:  unfriend – verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook.

Don’t make me unfriend you is hilarious.  Somebody get me that on a bumper sticker.  😀

Employee fired for using ALL CAPS in email









PLEASE DO NOT USE ALL CAPS WHEN WRITING.  IT IS A BIG NO-NO AND IS CONSIDERED SHOUTING.  Don’t use all caps, period.  It is appropriate for a heading or title but never in the body of a document, especially email.  Recently a woman in New Zealand was fired for using all caps in an email message to co-workers.  Vicki Walker worked as an accountant for a company called ProCare who said that the emails she wrote using ALL CAPS, bold typeface, and red text created “disharmony” in the workplace.

This just goes to show you how people, especially employers, can find the use of ALL CAPS offensive.  Walker sued her employer and was awarded approximately $11,500 damages in U.S. dollars.  Although the company might have taken it too far by firing her, this does illustrate how ALL CAPS should not be used in the workplace.  And DON’T USE IT IN A BLOG POST EITHER. 

Special thanks to my student who forwarded me this article which is definitely interesting.  🙂

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