When to Use Utilize

The short version: when in doubt, don’t use the word utilize. It’s an unlovely construction that sounds wordy/pretentious and shouldn’t have been incorporated into English in the first place, but here we are. I have some additional things to share on this topic, but today’s entry will be short. Lucky you. Continue reading

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To Ampersand or Not to Ampersand?

I am not fond of the ampersand (&). It’s a shortcut piece of punctuation that substitutes for “and.” I’m sure it’s useful and makes sense on some level; the problem for me is that it is often overused when it should not be. Today I’ll try to slog my way through explaining when it’s acceptable or not acceptable to use the ampersand…understanding that my guidelines are not followed out in the wilderness of actual English use. Continue reading

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What Situations Should You Handle in Person?

It’s been a while since I covered situations that should be handled in person vs. some form of remote technology, but the topic remains relevant as our technological toys continue to multiply and take over more of our lives. I’m reminded of a comment by Steve Cook, an Executive VP at Dynetics: “If all you’re doing is emailing, you’re not communicating.” Continue reading

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On Sabbatical…of Sorts

Greetings, all! Starting tomorrow, I will be taking a long vacation overseas. Looking on this as a late birthday present to myself. The posts from now until December 2 will be prewritten rather than based on real-time events. Looking forward to sharing new thoughts when I return.

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Travel Logistics for Fun and Profit

I’ve been preparing for a long vacation that will start Friday. Because I enjoy a challenge, the trip will include two countries (Australia and New Zealand) and just about every type of climate this planet offers, from deserts to rain forests to glaciers. How on Earth do you pack for that? And how on Earth does your Heroic Technical Writer plan to relate travel logistics to the job of tech writing? Read on, fearless readers. There is a point to this. Continue reading

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