The Presumption Trap

We writers—whether we’re building an argument or documenting a procedure or creating a lookup table—must give up the fantasy of easy acceptance if we want to avoid the Presumption Trap. We must suspend the illusion of like-mindedness, of oneness with our readers. We must detach ourselves and acknowledge that readers see what we write in their own ways. We can presume only one thing about readers: that we can’t presume anything.

Continue reading

“Language Matters” Recorded Webinar

This morning, The Content Wrangler Scott Abel chatted with me in a recorded webinar.  See it here: “Language Matters: How to Write Powerful Sentences & Paragraphs.”

Continue reading

Video Testimonials for Word Up!

Thanks to the passion, persistence, and expertise of Portland videographer Asia Brown and to the generosity of Word Up! readers Adrienne Hartz, John Morrison, and Garret Romaine, you can now see some 30-second video snippets that will soon find their way into the book trailer.

Continue reading

Word Up! Goes to School (Part Two)

Last Wednesday, I had the privilege of visiting Garret Romaine’s technical-editing class at Portland State University. We talked about the importance of writing skills in the workplace—a topic already familiar to these language-loving students, many of whom already have experience writing for local companies.

Continue reading