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Keep Attribution Short When Quoting People

Keep Attribution Short When Quoting People

Quotes are often followed by an executive’s lengthy title, sometimes more than one, but that level of specificity just slows the reader. Attribution is important, but there is no need to be excessive. The bank news release quote ended with  … said Pam Sears, CFA, managing director and head of digital partnerships, content and social media at the bank, and president and CEO of Women &a...

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Study Finds Many Students Avoid Texting Language in Formal Writing

Study Finds Many Students Avoid Texting Language in Formal Writing

A study of student writing found that most students knew enough to avoid using “textisms” in formal assignments. Ever since instant messaging arrived in the mid 90s, there has been concern about a decline in writing skills, and it increased with the advent of text messaging, with its abbreviations, casual language, and clipped format. But four professors who surveyed students in Canada...

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Persuasive Speakers Avoid Powerless Language

Persuasive Speakers Avoid Powerless Language

Speaking persuasively means avoiding hedges and hesitations, which cause the audience to question your credibility. Several experiments in social psychology have shown that a person with a powerful speaking style influences how the audience evaluates that person. Speakers received consistently low ratings when they used what psychologists James Bradac and Anthony Mulac called powerless language. T...

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Persuasive Writing: Consider Asking for Less

Persuasive Writing: Consider Asking for Less

Reducing the size of your initial request can be an effective persuasive tactic because it makes the request less burdensome to your audience. Let’s say you want management to approve a costly new training curriculum. Rather than ask for the full program, try asking management to approve it as a pilot program. Asking for it on a trial basis means less of a financial commitment for management...

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What’s Ahead for Commas? Fewer, Maybe, But We Still Need Them

What’s Ahead for Commas? Fewer, Maybe, But We Still Need Them

We could live without some commas, but eliminating all of them would hinder clarity, and people would waste time rewriting the sentence just to avoid using them. A linguist at Columbia, John McWhorter, says that many text messages and email illustrate that most commas could be removed from writing without any risk to clarity, and that we probably could eliminate all commas by just recasting the se...

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