The big time?

No matter how corporate we are, we all have a personal side. Mine’s getting an outing on my new Huffington Post blog.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new project, and please keep those corporate writing peeves coming my way!

 

 

 

 

Or maybe it’s just a technicolor dream

It’s been a busy time for The Corporate Writer and her colleagues. We’re proud to have contributed substantially to a new website for a leading Midwest law firm, and are immersed in a similar project for another firm. We’ve also been working on a new website for a state university.

With so much going on, it’s been harder to chronicle the daily challenges facing writers of corporate communications. So I’m grateful to college pal Jeremy Epstein for providing today’s guest rant:

“I just saw a phrase referring to a variety of colors on a palate; of course, the opposite would be a mix of flavors on your palette or–even worse, but fortunately rarer–colors or flavors on a pallet. At least the latter gives a nice connotation of a forklift unloading a giant shrink-wrapped cluster of cardboard boxes, all filled with colors or flavors. Still annoying though.”

I will be posting more often in coming weeks. Meanwhile, please keep those peeves and whinges coming!

The devil is in the details

One lowly apostrophe separates a business that knows its shit from a business that knows it’s shit.

A single letter will turn my precious husband into my previous husband.

Many of us have left the “l” out of at least one public appearance.

The point is, small mistakes matter. Take this example from DamnYouAutocorrect:

What are your worst small mistakes?

Passive aggressive

I hate the passive voice; it’s sneaky and whiny. Most people use it to slither out of something they feel guilty about, whether it’s missing a deadline (“the newsletter was delayed”) or fathering a child out of wedlock (“the situation was unfortunate”).

I’ve been calling for the death of the passive voice ever since I picked up a blue pencil (we used these quaint tools to edit copy back in the last century, children). But after 20 years on the front lines, today I admit defeat.

The passive clause is essential to corporate writing. Like the heads of the Hydra, every time I lop one off, two come back. Whether justifying ourselves to shareholders or placing the blame on another department,  we can’t get by without it.

This sad fact can no longer be denied.