Good Stuff

Tips, tricks and techniques that help you explore and enjoy your communication awareness.

Quote of the Day

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.
-William Butler Yeats

Dear Jane

Dear Jane,

I don’t bother with some of the grammar or spelling rules that no-one cares about.  If I write your or you’re, or to or too, or their or there, or let’s or lets, or it’s or its – who cares?  People know what I mean, right?  My supervisor said I need to take a class but I don’t think anyone cares about rules any more, do you?


Happy to be Wrong

Want to be a professional

Dear Happy,

Unfortunately, the people who read what you write are counting on the rules of grammar and spelling to guide them as to your meaning.  If they have to pause and decipher what you’ve written, they might lose interest and stop reading.  Also, if they think you disregard written rules they may wonder what other rules you disregard.  You probably don’t want either of these things to happen.  Ignoring rules of language may not be the place where you want to stake your independence.

Good luck,


Tip of the Day

What is Assertiveness?

Assertiveness is saying what you need or want in a gracious, calm way, without hurting the other person. Aggression is when you speak with anger without regard for how the other person feels.

To speak assertively, use neutral language and a calm tone. Your goal is to avoid a fight.

For example:

- Instead of saying "That’s a stupid idea- typical of you!"

You might say, "I disagree with that idea; may I tell you why?"

When you feel hurt or angry it’s hard to reply assertively and not aggressively. It takes practice but it can be learned.


Spotlight: Something as small as an apostrophe can cause changes in meaning.  Knowing a few rules will help avoid trouble.


  • Use the apostrophe to show possession: Hector’s meeting.

Use it even if the noun ends in ‘s’:  Doris’s turn.

And even if the noun is plural:  The children’s playground.

And even if the noun is plural AND ends in ‘s’:  the Smiths’ house.

  • We also use the apostrophe in contractions:

They have= they’ve; you are= you’re; can not=can’t.

Here are places where we do NOT use an apostrophe:

  • Six dogs
  • Your homework
  • Lots of fun

You can do this.  Call us at 202-298-7700 for help.