A Portland, Maine dairy company will have to shell out $10 million because of an overtime pay statute and a comma, a court has ruled.
The ruling, according to a March report by The New York Times, is resulting from ambiguity caused by the Oxford comma–or in this case, a lack thereof.
And all the Oxford comma zealots chimed into the discussion with a collective “I told you so.”
Continue reading “Comma drama”
I love a good pun. Good, bad or ugly, none is master of the pun more than the animated franchise, Bob’s Burgers.
It’s a lovable show about a burger joint owner and his family, which is constantly (lovingly?) sabotaging his business.
Continue reading “A few of my favorite puns from Bob’s Burgers”
Make your point clear in the first sentence
Everybody knows the cardinal rule of journalism–don’t bury the lede.
Well, almost everybody.
Today I picked up a local newspaper bearing a headline stating the Richland County Sheriff’s Department will get funding for body cameras. But I couldn’t tell what the story was supposed to be about until the third paragraph.
Continue reading “The lede–a story’s heartbeat”
I don’t check in on my website analytics quite like I’m supposed to.
One particular post at The Carolina Ledger performed well on social media last week. My interest in my website’s analytics is usually piqued when that happens.
When I checked my report, I noticed something I’ve notice before–a high bounce rate. (Cue dramatic music.)
Continue reading “Lowering your bounce rate, from one non-web guru to another”
As I mentioned in a previous post, I had minor dental surgery a few weeks ago.
And recovery from a concurrent dental infection has taken longer than I had expected.
I’ve had to reach down deep–deeper than usual–to find the energy to do my work.
It’s in these moments in life that writers need a reason from which to pivot. Slow your work down if you must. But find the reason to keep working, or else you’ll quit.
Continue reading “A “difficult, agonizing, dreadful exercise, a terrible occupation””
As we close the books on this year, I rounded up a few of your favorite posts according to a combination of likes, comments, social networking shares and page views. See the countdown below to revisit your favorite tips and stories of 2015.
5) Four tips to build credibility in your writing
Carry these four tips into the new year to help you perfect your blog and business writing.
The water level recedes from under the Blossom St. bridge after SCE&G releases water from the Lake Murray Dam on Sunday.
4) Diary from a 1,000-year flood—after the rain
Continue reading “Your five favorite posts of 2015 revisited”
My story about a Somali family’s journey
I pulled a box full of newspapers out of our guest room closet last night to find a 2009 story I wrote about a family of Somali refugees living in Columbia.
This was the second family I had interviewed for two stories I wrote for The Columbia Star.
Continue reading “Putting the worldwide refugee crisis in context”
I’m not a perfect speller. I consult my dictionary often. But I have a confession–and a bit of a mean streak. I feel a shudder of joy when I catch a spelling error in print.
And if the mistake is in a published book, even better! A classic? Oh boy!
It’s like my sweetheart whispered a secret in my ear that only I get to know. The author missed it. And the editor (or proofreader) missed it. But I was just sharp enough to catch it.
Continue reading “Misspelling, a love story”
It’s been eight days since nine people were shot to death in a Charleston church. The past week has been a sad one for my home state of South Carolina, but seeing people from all sorts of backgrounds join together to mourn and to show support for the families of the nine has been encouraging.
Political operatives have also taken the opportunity to capitalize on the events surrounding those deaths, trumpeting their positions on race and gun rights. I’ve worked in and around politics—taking advantage of an event to advance a particular agenda is to be expected. I’d hoped that would come later.
Continue reading “A sensitive awareness–honoring the grieving after the Charleston church massacre”
Color wheel–public domain
When I’ve written for clients in the past, I’ve focused my communications skills on the writing portion of mailers, newsletters and other written communications. My strengths involve organizing information and writing clearly. But did you know communicating with design elements is just as important as the words used?
The starting point for your message is what your audience sees, not what they read. If you use visual elements that are distracting, a reader may miss your message altogether.
Continue reading “How to put color to work for your marketing”