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United Airlines’ Latest Customer Letter Hits the Right Notes

It’s easy to pile on United. More than the mistakes, it’s the type of mistakes, lacking that quality known as common sense. I’ve certainly taken my shots at United over the years with posts ranging from “The Worst Customer Service Narrative in the History of Branding” to the recent “United Enters Third Stage of a …more

Avoiding the Unkindly Cut in Business Writing

I don’t smoke. I rarely drink more than two Old Fashioneds at a sitting. If I have a weakness, it’s called WG Yogurt. Their root beer yogurt deserves a Michelin star — “creamy with hints of cherry tree bark.” What does this have to do with business writing? During my last stop at WG Yogurt, …more

Post-Thanksgiving Humor in the Form of a Word Visual

I suspect the recent Presidential election made for some spirited discussions around the Thanksgiving table this year. Even a slice of pie worthy of Twin Peaks — “This must be where pies go when they die” — can only go so far in bridging the political gap. Still, there’s something reaffirming in knowing that Thanksgiving …more

PR Guy Morphs into Travel Writer

I thought the newspaper was asking me questions about my favorite travel destination. It turned out that the newspaper assumed San Francisco was my favorite travel destination — hey, why else would I live 53 miles south of San Francisco? — so my answers around Aix en Provence didn’t fit. As public service for those …more

Five Lessons in Counterpunching with Words from Warren Buffett

Staying true to form during the last presidential debate, Donald Trump inferred that all smart business people find loopholes to avoid paying federal taxes, including Warren Buffett. I tried to come up with a plausible explanation for why Trump thought his comment on Buffett would go unchallenged. Then, the obvious hit me. He doesn’t care. It’s his words …more