Stephen Wilbers

Columnist | Effective Writing
Stephen Wilbers teaches seminars in effective business writing. His column appears online every other Monday.

Recent content from Stephen Wilbers

Thoughts on titles, typos, aspirate h's and more

Louis writes: "I have a friend whose parents are both professors. Naturally, I address them collectively as 'The Professors Smith,' but if I am standing in front of both of them and I would like to verbally address Mr. Smith, how should I do so in a way that respects his title as a professor (not Mr. Smith), does not create ambiguity with his wife (not Professor Smith) and is not long-winded (certainly not Mr. Professor Smith!)? This has been bothering me for quite some time."

Updated: July 03, 2011, - 04:14 PM

Butter Bakery robbed - but not of its owner's eloquence

Dan Swenson-Klatt of Butter Bakery Café in south Minneapolis has taken the art of the customer newsletter to a new level.

Updated: June 24, 2011, - 02:28 PM

Has the Web made us lose our ability to read books?

In "The Lost Art of Reading," David Ulin reflects on a disturbing trend. Many people -- even people like him who love reading -- are having trouble taking time to read.

Updated: June 05, 2011, - 02:24 PM

On redundancies, compound words and pesky closing punctuation marks

John (aka Bulwer-Lytton) writes:

Updated: May 22, 2011, - 04:48 PM

Why positive statements will serve you better

I enjoy hearing from you, my readers, but often when you write with your comments and questions you fail to proofread your text. I'm surprised by your carelessness.

Updated: May 15, 2011, - 02:27 PM

Craft your letters as if they will be your career legacy

"One of the promises I've made to myself in my new assignment," the memo began, "is to improve the promotability of each interested individual in my suboperation."

Updated: May 01, 2011, - 05:12 PM

Stephen Wilbers: Learn to recognize 5 types of wordiness

When Henry David Thoreau wrote about living in a cabin by Walden Pond, he titled his first chapter "Economy." He wanted to explain the economy of reducing life to its bare essentials, of living simply so that he might live richly.

Updated: April 17, 2011, - 03:03 PM

Learning English can be daunting

Why don't all those people moving to this country learn how to speak English? I mean, if they're going to live here, they ought to learn our language, right?

Updated: March 28, 2011, - 12:13 AM

Stephen Wilbers: Position your words for maximum effect

Word arrangement is a powerful technique of composition, yet few writers are taught its importance.

Updated: March 13, 2011, - 01:30 PM

Stephen Wilbers: Charge yourself $5 for every word you write

There's a hidden art to writing.

Updated: February 28, 2011, - 04:07 PM

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