Emenem (Part I of III - The Em Dash)

With terrorists, disease, and weird weather threatening life on Earth as we know it, it seemed like a good time to talk about em dashes. If we all start using them properly, perhaps we can shift the earth's axis just enough that the asteroid hits Adak instead of Birmingham.

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And Now, the Oscar for Best Supporting Honey Wagon Driver

Long after the movie ends and everyone else has left the theatre, I sit in the dark watching the credits, mesmerized by the thousands of people it takes to make a movie: the loaders, the gaffers, the grips, the best boys. The Pre-Dubbers and Print Mixers, the Boom Operators and Stunt Team, the Foley Artists and Second Unit Wardrobe Production Assistants. The Transportation Captain and the Parking Coordinator. The Second Second Assistant to the Backup Accountant for Food Services in Charge of Estimating the Value of Edible Food Composted at the End of Each Day for Tax Reasons. But my all-time, all-time favorites are the Honey Wagon Drivers. (Yes, there is such a credit.) If you promise not to tell, it’s a great way for aspiring directors to get the inside scoop. So to speak.

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Gone with the Email (Act IV of IV)

To conclude this four-part series about writing emails, we begin at the end.

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Two Furcates and Half a Nary

A prince was about to purchase a castle high on a rocky promontory, the perfect place to defend against marauding Visigoths. His princess loved the place because of the stunning view and the intriguing array of torture devices displayed in the dungeon. As the prince was about to sign the contract to purchase, he noticed the term bimonthly payments. Wait! Hold everything! What does that mean?

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Close Encounters of the Email Kind (Act III of IV)

For the third week we are examining the necessary evil of email, and the wariness with which we must approach this oh-so-informal medium when we use it to conduct our oh-so-important business. Last week we discussed what to put in the four lines of the header. Now we’re looking at the “Whens of Email.”

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A Hacksaw to the Ear

It all happens so fast. If you remember, we ended last week with everything suspended:  Criss  on the side of the Chrysler Building, David upside down, handcuffed in a shark tank. But the crowd has now turned back to me, wide-eyed and slack-jawed, to hear the rest of my story on how to write numbers.

 

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Guess Who's Coming to Email (Act II of IV)

Last week we talked about the no-man’s land of email, that weird space between writing and speaking researchers call “chatting.” Problems arise when the loose rules of “chatting” clash with the important content of the email.

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Hanging with Criss and David

The other day, I was hanging out with Criss Angel and David Blaine, walking across pools and through plate glass windows, all that typical stuff. While Criss set himself on fire and David hung from a crane in a block of ice, I wowed the crowd with this amazing trick where I make useless words disappear right in front of their eyes: no hands, no props, just a WordRake button. Pure magic. The crowd burst into applause, stunned.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Email (Act I of IV)

(With summer upon us, this seemed like a good time to revisit the method of communication that nearly put the U. S. Postal Service out of business. Just between the two of us, I miss the old days, arriving at the mailbox one minute late, the taste of glue on my tongue. I know you do, too. Those were good times. After much thought, however, I have decided that email might be around for a while, so we should make peace with it and figure out how to use it effectively. In that spirit, today and for the next three weeks, we will explore the art and science of email.)

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Sun Valley Serenade

After dinner in town, I returned late to the home on the lake. The other authors had been there for a good while. When I walked in, a nice woman asked if I would like a glass of white wine. I said, “Yes, I would like that.” She brought it to me, extended the glass, and as I reached for it, she pulled it back. “First,” she said, “you must sing.”

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About Gary Kinder

Gary Kinder
Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for the American Bar Association, the Social Security Administration, PG&E, Kraft, Microsoft, and law firms like Jones Day, Sidley, and WilmerHale. His critically-acclaimed Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea hit #7 on the New York Times Bestsellers List.

In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake editing software to provide writers a full-time, reliable editor; to save them time and money; and to give them the confidence their writing is as clear and concise as they can make it. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has awarded nine patents to WordRake's unique technology, and Harvard Law School has recognized WordRake as "Disruptive Innovation."