What to write in Christmas cards – or are they disappearing?

So many people now say they aren’t sending cards or Christmas newsletters this Holiday Season but are making a donation to charity instead … “so consider yourselves wished Merry Christmas / Happy Hanukkah / etc.” A bit abrupt and unfeeling perhaps?

What to write in Christmas cards - or are they disappearing?

Bland, politically sanitised greetings have replaced Santa’s cheeky poetry

And is a “virtual Christmas greeting” – i.e. emailed – as sincere as a mailed, handwritten card, or is it just a cheap and easy cop-out for people who haven’t got the time or interest to write out and send real cards?

What happened to all those glorious written Christmas messages of the past?

[Read more…]

Writing about yourself: how not to fall into the I-ME trap

One of the most common among classic writing (and speaking) grammar goofs is the I or ME dilemma, when I-ME does something with someone else.

Is it you and I or you and me?

Did Dad and I go out for brunch yesterday, or was it Dad and me?

Without resorting to formal grammar jargon, here is a simplified but very easy to grasp illustration of the problem and its solutions…and scroll down if you want an easy trick to make sure you stay out of the I-ME trap from now on…

Writing quiz: which of the following are correct?

1.Deanna, Mike, Tom and I went to the movies last night. [Read more…]

Editing your written work: how not to miss mistakes

Today please welcome guest author Lucy Benton – originally from Illinois, USA and now resident of Sydney, Australia. Lucy is a writing and editing expert who also runs a superb blog, ProWritingPartner, which I thoroughly recommend as a goldmine of first-class grammar, editing and general writing resources. Sz.

How to edit your text properly

You ought to remove the flab as well as the excess so your reader truly understands your ideas

We are all well aware of the fact that creating something in a draft allows us to lay down the ideas and to clarify the entire structure of what we’re writing. However, the sharpness and the value of the text comes next – when you edit and refine what you want to say. [Read more…]

Should swearing be more fashionable?

Do you consider it a hanging offence when someone turns the air blue? Or are you, like so many of us now, getting used to hearing expletives and becoming less uncomfortable when someone yells out a four-letter word?

Should we accept swearing more into our daily life?

To swear or not to swear … that is the ****ing question…

Whether we like it or not, rude (but not personally based) language** is becoming more widely accepted in the media.

No longer does the air turn blue when someone says “shit.”

[Read more…]

Writing essays: what can we learn from nature?

Here’s a question I was asked recently by a student, that really made me think: what can we write about of what we learn from nature? This was for an essay she was about to write.

writing about nature on HTWB

The business world seems to claw at nature to make its commercial points.

In fact, how many of us still can take the time to look around us and absorb the lessons nature teaches us, especially when our heads are mainly buried in electronic devices while sat in antiseptic urban homes and offices? [Read more…]

Due to make a wedding speech soon? Don’t get caught with your pants down

Are you due to make a speech at a wedding soon? You may not have noticed, but the wedding season in the northern hemisphere is taking off big-time. The wedding where you’re speaking may be just around the corner…

wedding speeches reminder on HTWB

Due to make a speech at a wedding this summer? Don’t get caught at the last minute with your pants down…

So: have you thought about your speech yet? What you’re going to say? What – depending on your role in the wedding party – you are supposed to say? No?

OK, here is a quick reminder based on what I wrote last year – suitably updated – to help you folks get your wedding speech safeguards in place … even at the last minute! [Read more…]

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