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Women's Coach House

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Big Breath…Here I Go…

Posted by deb on August 5, 2013
Posted in Notes to Self 

Well, it’s been over two years since I’ve written in my blog.  There have been a succession of traumatic events in my personal life that have left me desperately weary, unable to hold on to my unreasonable optimism, my complete confidence in my abilities and my bright ambition to be a change-maker. Some would say I’ve lost my mojo.

How in hell did I let it happen? And how can I get it back?

I know that, for most, life presents a parade of big and small disasters, along with everything in between.  I imagine it as standing on an ocean beach. On good days, the waves gently wash over your feet – only to turn into angry monsters that threaten to knock you over, or even sweep you away on really bad days.  Of course, there are also days when the waves are not so gentle, but not strong enough to really give you trouble.

Like everyone, I have had my share of nasty waves during my half century or so on the planet. I like to think I’m pretty good at weathering storms, but this last pounding has taken a toll.  They began in September 2011, then kept rolling in, bigger and bigger waves, each one almost washing me away, then requiring that I pull it together to stand stronger against the next one.

So, here I am. It looks like I made it through, and I have – just a little (okay, a lot) worse for wear – physically, mentally and emotionally more fragile.

Thankfully, I have a strong foundation. I have faith in a wise and benevolent Universe and I have a strong sense of my purpose for being here.  Now it’s time (way past time) to turn the page and start putting one foot in front of the other on a journey onward and upward – one moment at a time.

Namaste – until next time.  Keep on smiling!

I heard a piece on the radio last evening talking about whether Google is killing our memories. The suggestion was that we don’t bother to try to remember things anymore. Instead, we just punch the appropriate prompts into our handy-dandy Google search bar and we have our answer in a matter of milliseconds. There’s no need to tax our poor, overworked brains with unnecessary trivia. Unfortunately, it seems the brain works like most other parts of us…if we don’t use it, we lose it.

OK, now let’s switch gears to (you’ll never guess) grammatically correct, professional looking writing. It isn’t hard to understand how constantly using the shorthand required for modalities that only allow a limited number of characters could seriously decondition the part of the brain we use for writing proper English. Even email, when used for personal reasons, tends to take on a conversational (not necessarily full sentence) style. All of this is great. It’s a huge time saver and has made written communication much more accessible to those of us with limited spelling and grammatical prowess.

However…BIG however, it is SO important to switch gears and use impeccable spelling and grammar when you are writing to potential or current clients, especially if it’s to more than one of them at once. Writing is not everyone’s strong suit. If it isn’t yours, have someone else do it or at least proofread and edit it for you. Also, choose your writer or editor wisely. If their command of written English is only slightly better than yours, they are not the right person for the job. It is more than worth whatever you need to invest to have your communications looking professional.

There is nothing that will more effectively alienate someone who is getting their first impression of you through a welcoming email, a newsletter or even your website than spelling mistakes or bad grammar. It can instantly ruin the image you are trying to portray; that of a knowledgeable professional, an expert. It breaks my heart when I see it, and I see it a lot these days.

Please, do what you need to do to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. You have worked too hard on all the other pieces of your business to let your writing shoot you in the foot.

That’s it for now. Let’s be careful out there!  (Is there anyone else out there old enough to remember Hill Street Blues??)

Love and Light, Namaste…Debbie

“Here she goes again…”

Posted by deb on July 14, 2011
Posted in Writing  | Tagged With:

Now that I have come out of the closet, so to speak, admitted my secret desire to be an English teacher; I’m nervous to write, just in case I make a mistake. Silly me. I know that my intentions are honourable. I just want to point out some of the common spots many of us, (including me) make silly errors that can cast us in a less than favourable light, especially for that critical first impression.

So, here goes. There are a couple numbers that tend to get abused. The worst is ‘two’. Of course, that is the written form of the number ‘2’. The other two spellings that sound the same are ‘to’ and ‘too’. In simple terms, ‘too’ is used in places where ‘also’ or ‘as well’ would make sense… ‘I want to go too.’ The other common use is to indicate an excess…’too small’ or ‘too cute’. ‘To’ gets used in front of action words….’I want to go, or to read, or to hit someone, etc…’. The other common use is in front of a destination of some sort. ‘I am going to the cabin, or to Cuba, or to bed, etc…’. I’m sure there are lots of exceptions and additions to what I’ve mentioned, but I think I’ve covered the majority of situations.

Quickly, let’s also talk about ‘four/for/fore’. Okay, the obvious…’four’ is the written form of ‘4’. Not so obvious, ‘forty’ is how ‘40’ is spelled. ‘Fore’ doesn’t get used much these days, but means ‘in the front ’ or it could also be a warning from a golfer that his/her shot may be heading to where people might be impacted. The third and most common is ‘for’. Most of the time, this is the spelling you will use. Technically, it is a preposition. Some of the more common uses are 1) to indicate belonging…’The uniforms are for the soccer team.’ …2) to indicate the object or purpose of something…’I read for enjoyment.’…and 3) to indicate something or someone that fills a need…’I need the books for next semester.’

I haven’t exhausted all the possibilities, not even close. I hope I have covered some of the most common usages. The other related trouble spot is ‘fourth’ versus ‘forth’. Again, very quickly…’fourth’ is the spelled form of ‘4th’, ‘forth’ is almost synonymous with ‘forward.’

Well, that’s it for this edition of ‘English with Debbie’. I hope something in my tirade is a little bit helpful. I would be grateful for any feedback or requests.

Love and Light, Namaste…Debbie