The Write Idea is a concise little e-letter we put together from time to time with interesting ideas, updates, questions and suggestions to help our colleagues, clients and friends make their business writing better. Check out some of the back issues below, and if you’d like to subscribe, let us know.

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  • They is the new he.

    The Associated Press recently updated its AP Stylebook to accept the use of they, them and their as singular pronouns. That’s a significant change for two reasons. First, it’s the usage suggested by the…

  • Comma sense.

    The purpose of punctuation is to help your reader navigate your writing more easily and to make the thoughts you’re expressing as clear and intelligible as possible. Commas are a great tool…

  • Entitled.

    When people see their name in the media or some other professional context, they like to see it spelled correctly. As it should be. But when their title is used in conjunction…

  • Troublesome pairs.

    You know how words can sound the same, be spelled differently and have different meanings? Some are homophones, but others are what my high school English teacher called “troublesome pairs.” And with…

  • Be active.

    I’m a big fan of efficiency in all forms of writing. That means never using five words when four will do. We can’t all be Hemingway, obviously, but emulating his terse, minimalist…

  • Further vs. Farther.

    There are lots of examples in the English language of two words being used interchangeably when they really shouldn’t be. Sometimes the differences are subtle, but they’re differences nonetheless. One of my…

  • Hyphenate. With authority.

    The hyphen is the John Stockton of punctuation. For those who don’t remember the NBA before LeBron James, Stockton is the league’s all-time assists leader. He made his bones setting other people…

  • Words or Numbers?

    Because business writing is often numbers-focused, one of the biggest challenges is knowing when to use words and when to use figures to express a numeral. It’s a big enough challenge, in…

  • When and where.

    Knowing when to capitalize words that are just as commonly not capitalized is one of the toughest tricks in writing. Words that indicate when and where are particularly tricky. Fortunately our friends at the…

  • Better bullets.

    Bulleted lists have always been a fast and easy way to get through a lot of related content quickly. But as we’ve become more “scanners” than readers in the internet age, they’ve…