Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Hope your 2015 is everything you want it to be and more. 

Looking for some good reading material for the New Year? Check out Carpinteria Magazine. See our cover with the Champagne glasses? You know there's gotta be good stuff inside. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

That's a capital idea!

What's red, showy, and screams the holidays?

Yes, the Poinsettia. Good answer!

Did you know that the Poinsettia is named after Joel Roberts Poinsett? That's why the plant's name is capitalized, unlike, say, a daisy. As you know, proper nouns begin with a capital letter.

dark chocolate -vs- Swiss chocolate
chardonnay -vs- Champagne
suit coat -vs- Nehru jacket
carnival ride -vs- Ferris wheel

The rules change as the language ages. According to AP Style, "Lowercase words that are derived from a proper noun but no longer depend on it for their meaning: french fries, herculean, manhattan cocktail, malapropism, pasteurize, quixotic, venetian blind.

World Wide Web is a proper noun. That's why Web site, i.e. not website, is the correct usage. As is Web page, but not webcam, webcast and webmaster. Go figure.

Back to the holidays. Want to know more about the Poinsettia? Read the article in Carpinteria Magazine, which I wrote. You'll find it on page 84. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A check and a thank you

Nothing better than a check in the mail, right? Well, I got one better - a check with a thank-you note for my services! Now, that's a good mail day.

Sara Caputo, productivity expert and principal of Radiant Organizing, made my day recently with that postal present. I was touched and flattered. And, I decided I am going to follow her example and send a few more thank-you notes in my life.

It's not such a big undertaking. Try it yourself.

Here are some thank-you note tips.

1. Keep a set of blank, all-occasion thank-you notes handy along with stamps and a good pen.

2. Write the first line about the other person. See how Sara told me about my writing. Examples: "You bowled me over on my birthday ..." "Your taste in music always has been superb ..."

3. Make it easy on yourself. A sentence or two is enough. Remember, it's the thought that counts.  Really.

4. Be timely. Say, within two weeks. And, if you're not, send a note anyway. No matter how embarrassed you are or how awkward you feel. For uber-tardy thank-you notes I recommend a handwritten note over an email.