Archive for the ‘Effective Communication’ Category

“Can I ask you to take off your baseball cap please?”

You can.


“Well go on then, take it off.”

You asked if you could ask me to to take off my baseball cap and I said yes, so go ahead and ask. Then I’ll take it off.


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I keep thinking about taking my truck to the Exclusive Detailing and Auto Care place that I drive by every day on my way to work.

But I don’t want to feel excluded.

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This is one I used to struggle with regularly in my day-to-day work, until I got used to it.

Someone pled guilty or pleaded guilty?

The rule for us in journalism is pleaded. The lawyers like pled.

I imagine this goes back to the good ole English court terminology somewhere in history.

In any case … I like pled.  It sounds more natural.

You don’t say you “saided” something.

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The English language often confuses me, even though I’ve spoken it (or at least tried to) as my first language since I could first put a subject and a verb together.

There are often so many ways to portray the same meaning:

  1. Although he had light skin he didn’t get sun burn easily.
  2. He didn’t get sun burnt easily even though he had light skin.
  3. In spite of his light skin he never got sun burnt.
  4. He never got sunburned despite his light complexion.

If , after over 30 years of speaking English as my first language, I have problems, then how should I expect somebody to understand me when English is their second language?

Sometimes it’s difficult to articulate…

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Never use a long word when a short one will do. We all know that one, right?

But here’s one word, a short one, you should consider replacing with a long one: Ken

Here’s the definition taken from answers.com:


  1. Perception; understanding: complex issues well beyond our ken.

Complex issues beyond our Ken?  Yeah, and I bet Barbie doesn’t know much about them either.

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I think I’ve found a solution to the “further/farther” problem.

If you didn’t already know, this one is a common mix-up.

“Further” is meant to determine distance in time.

“Farther” determines distance in space.

However, if you make a mistake, all you have to do is point out that both time and space are interconnected and that you meant your usage to be a philosophical exercise.

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LOL? Really?

In internet communication I think we find ourselves making statements that aren’t really true, but that help us get the point across anyway.

I just have to wonder:

If you type “LOL,” are you really laughing out loud?

If you say, “Coffee sprayed all over the screen on that one,” or “Pepsi came through the nose when I read that” … did that really happen?

Because if it did, I get the feeling that we’d actually type that out.

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