Sunday, November 19, 2017

The New Number 1 Question About Email

Consider whether email is the best way to reply. This is the most frequent comment I hear from the CEO level of organizations where I conduct training. Corporate presidents typically tell me to make sure I admonish their staff not to use email as a way of "assigning blame" and "avoiding responsibility," or as "a weapon of mass destruction." They say, "Tell them to get off their butts and develop relationships with people by walking down the hallway or picking up the phone."

While I mentioned this point in an earlier WORDS ON THE LINE post, I reiterate it because it is the most frequently asked question in my many webinars on email. Using alternatives to email at key times is not only the more considerate choice, it is also the more time efficient one.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Tense Tricks, Part 4: Useless Appendages

The present continuous, or present progressive, tense indicates an action or state that is happening now:
She is working hard. (action)She is being diligent. (state)
Since the continuous action or state is obvious to us, we never need to write, "She is going to go to work." I often hear people speak like this, which may not be a problem in the context of a conversation. But I occasionally see people write the sentence, which is excessive at best and ambiguous at worst, especially since it confuses the present continuous with the future continuous tense. So we have two choices in such a case:

  • If we mean a present continuous action, we can write, "She is going to work. 
  • If we mean a future continuous action, we can write, "She will be going to work."

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Tense Tricks, Part 3: Present Continuous or Future?

We know we will meet with our friend Kim tomorrow, so which sentence is correct?
1. I am meeting Kim tomorrow. (present continuous tense)
2. I will meet Kim tomorrow. (future tense)
Credible sources, such as British CouncilCapital Community College, and Education First, say we use the present continuous if we have clear plans for the future. Therefore, since we do know that Kim agrees to meet with us, we can use option 1. However, option 2 in no way causes confusion, so that choice is acceptable too.