ISSN:1544-8312November, 2012
Judy Vorfeld, PublisherIssue 88

A Gentle Blend of Communication Expressway
& Webgrammar's Food for Thought

Judy's Corner

It's almost 2013. But you knew that. Here's a tip if you have a site for your copyright line, one that will take PHP or JavaScript. You can download a code from Will Bontrager's Willmaster website that will automatically update the year. As Will says, "No more yearly chore."

I am blessed with some of the most amazing friends and colleagues. I met Lynette Smith some time when she was head of National Association of Secretarial Services. Later, she sold the business and became a superb nonfiction copyeditor. And later yet, she began a writing career. Her first book is entitled, "How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure: For Special Occasions and Occasions Made Special." Goal: to get millions of people, worldwide, to write more letters of appreciation so they can establish, enhance, and even rebuild their relationships and thus change their world. If you want to be a better communicator in any area, consider her book. It's a treasure.

I'd like to recommend a riveting book by David Grant, Metamorphosis - Surviving Brain Injury. says it well: "It is a story about the ability to overcome insurmountable odds with dignity and tenacity and a splash of humor. No matter what your current life circumstances may be, you'll come away with the feeling of hope... hope for the future and hope in the genuine goodness of humanity. Learn about brain injury from an insider's point of view. Survivors and medical professionals alike will better understand what life is like after sustaining a traumatic brain injury." In addition to TBI, it also gives great insight into PTSD, which is part of his diagnosis after being slammed by a car while riding his bike. And you will find his blog posts valuable.

Grammar Tip #1:

"Criteria," like "phenomena," is a plural word; "criterion," like "phenomenon," is a singular word." "Data" and "media" are the same whether singular or plural. Usually.

Grammar Tip #2:

Viola, Viola, or Voila?

  1. A viola (vee-oh-lah) is a stringed instrument that is larger than a violin and smaller than a 'cello.
  2. A viola (vye-oh-lah) is a tiny flower.
  3. "Voila!" (vwah-lah) is an interjection that is "used to call attention, to express satisfaction or approval, or to suggest an appearance as if by magic."

Business Email Tip

Message, Part 2.

  1. If you need to provide background for the message, do it briefly.
  2. Try to keep messages focused on a single topic, but if you can't, put each topic in a separate paragraph and use some kind of a heading to indicate which is which.
  3. If you have a number of questions, consider putting them in a list so they stand out, as opposed to including them in a paragraph with other text.
  4. The tone of your message is important. If in doubt that the message reflects what you want it to, try reading it from the recipient's point of view. If still in doubt, let it sit for awhile. Sometimes the best thing you can do is save an email written in anger or in defensiveness. Definitely let it sit at least 24 hours.
  5. Never write something critical about another and send it off unless you're willing to see it in the New York Times, on CNN, or on a subpoena. You get the picture. Sometimes you absolutely must keep your thoughts confidential, no matter what the temptation.


    Arts - CTO - Desktop Publishing - Education - Grammar - History - Small Biz/Home Office - Technology - For Writers, Journalists, Playwrights


    How the Wild West REALLY looked: Gorgeous sepia-tinted pictures show the landscape as it was charted for the very first time

    Andy Lee (Tsung Tsung) Amazing Piano Prodigy

    John Falter's jazz Portraits

    The Magic of Line. Gustav Klimt was one of the seminal figures of international Modernism. His entire artistic enterprise was based on drawing, which he practiced every day.

    Mead Art Museum. Eight galleries feature regularly changing installations and special exhibitions spanning a wide range of historical periods, national schools, and artistic media. Highlights of the permanent collection include American and European paintings and sculpture, an English Baroque paneled room, ancient Assyrian carvings, Russian modern art, West African sculpture, Japanese prints, and Mexican ceramics.


    Who are the special people in your life? Please start writing to them now, to show them in a lasting, meaningful way how much they mean to you. Life can be fleeting; don't wait until it's too late.

    The curious imperative. Now that information is ubiquitous, the obligation changes. It's no longer okay to not know.

    ZocDoc: find a doctor and make your appointment online

    The Ridiculous Business Jargon Dictionary

    Stuff Your Student’s Stocking With This Futuristic Smartpen


    How to Impress Potential Employers in a Video Interview

    Auto Accident Statistics - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - National Safety Council


    Put some Gestalt into your design

    Your logo as a design element

    How To Get Paid What You're Worth & Other Negotiation Tips


    The Future of Education: Tablets vs. Textbooks.

    AccreditedOnlineColleges, a comprehensive college directory with many resources useful to prospective students and parents

    Classroom Case Study: Room 14 Goes Mobile in Auckland

    Get more into learning. YouTube EDU brings learners and educators together in a global video classroom. On YouTube EDU, you have access to a broad set of educational videos that range from academic lectures to inspirational speeches and everything in between. Quick lessons from top teachers around the world, course lectures from top-tier universities, or inspiring videos to spark your imagination.

    Teaching Students to Become Curators of Ideas: The Curation Project

    Curation on the Web

    Online B.A. in Disability Studies from CUNY. Disability Studies is an emerging academic field which explores disability and society using overlapping perspectives from the social sciences, humanities, science, and the law. The B.A. in Disability Studies offers both a strong foundation in disability theory and history as well as opportunities for in-depth study in one of four concentrations.


    Common Errors In English: Professor Paul Brians

    Daily Grammar

    Daily Writing Tips: Get a daily grammar, spelling, punctuation or vocabulary tip.

    Guide To Grammar And Style: Jack Lynch

    Professor Charles Darling's Grammar Site


    The WayBack Machine: Browse through over 150 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago.

    Inventions of Note. Sheet Music Collection.

    American Civil War Music & Resources - Performing Arts Encyclopedia at the Library of Congress

    Temple Sheet Music Collections

    Civil War Washington examines the U.S. national capital from multiple perspectives as a case study of social, political, cultural, and medical/scientific transitions provoked or accelerated by the Civil War. The project draws on the methods of many fields to create a digital resource that chronicles the war's impact on the city.


    Mixing Messages: KitchenAid Misfire Still Burns The Brand. Social media is challenging enough without making it the cornerstone for your next crisis. Pick people who exhibit the skill sets of a spokesperson, not the least experienced or loosest lipped network jockey on the planet.

    4 Simple Ways to Get More Mileage Out of Your Press Release

    Why HR Needs to Address Social Media

    10 rules of disruption

    Aim for the Icebergs


    Make quality audio and vocal recordings anywhere on your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad

    FoodSmart App Guides Consumers to Make Healthy, Delicious Choices

    Tablet Buying Guide by Kim Kommando

    Add a Second WiFi Network to Your Home

    Hi-tech hi-touch society. "Technology is on a relentless march to replace people. Because people are expensive and they make mistakes. And in so many situations, people are just not as efficient as machines. But there is one very important area where people are still much better than machines: understanding other people. People have the capacity for empathy. Machines, at least for now, don’t....Technology is absolutely wonderful but we as we close down old face-to-face channels, we need to open up new ones. We have to find ways to develop an ever-deeper understanding of complex and often highly cynical customers. We must get to know our customers really well." Gerry McGovern.


    One month in, Margaret Sullivan talks about the changing role of New York Times Public Editor

    Acronym Finder: fine out what any acronym, abbreviation, or initialism stands for.

    6 Rules for a Great Story from Barnaby Conrad and Snoopy

    Zadie Smith’s 10 Rules of Writing

    The eBook Academy by my colleague and friend, Andrea Glass. Prepare, Publish, & Promote Ebooks for Profit!

    Writer Resources from Lynette Smith of Good Ways to Write

    I invite all my Webgrammar subscribers to join us by going to the subscription page or by sending an email to

    How to find Judy's websites

    Editing & Writing Services (Biz site w/writing tips blog)
    Office Support Services (Original biz site w/blog & ezine)
    Webgrammar for educators, writers, editors, researchers, librarians, etc.
    Digifeld (Complimentary redigitized photography by Judy Vorfeld)
    Judy Vorfeld's personal website

    ARCHIVES FOR ALL EZINE ISSUES beginning with 2012 are now combined into one ezine: eCommunication Food for Thought in the Communication Expressway index:

    Current Index and Archive: Communication Expressway

    Archive: Webgrammar's Food for Thought


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