And if I get tired of dashes … well then … there's that other all-purpose mark . … three little dots … when I use them … they make me look smart … as though my thoughts are tumbling out of my head so fast … my fingers … can hardly … keep up with my … brilliant mind …

Now don't even talk to me about using one of those style manuals or grammar books — or should that be grammer books — anyway one of those English reference books — if I'm not sure of a rule I just change the sentence to avoid the situation — it's a great system — works every time and it saves me a ton of time

So just this morning I had to write an e-mail message — I didn't have much time — of course I never do — you know — important brilliant people being perpetually busy and all — and also I was in a swashbuckling mood — so I just dashed away … rather than dotted my way … right through my message —

So here's what I wrote — We have a problem — our network of computers are not working — but then I wondered if it should be — our network of computers is not working because maybe the subject of the sentence was network rather than computers — so I changed the sentence to — our network is not working computerwise — and then I was on a roll so I wrote — There seems to be an insistent error in how they are functioning — but then I wondered if the correct word was persistent rather than insistent — but not owning a paper dictionary and being philosophically adverse — or should be that averse — to looking up a word online — I changed my sentence to — This error keeps occurring and just won't go away — but that sounded kinda — you know — juvenile — so in a flash of inspiration I decided to delete the entire message and simply write — Call me —

if that doesn't work I'll send a text or maybe a tweet it's quicker that way anyway and the important thing is just to get things done

Stephen Wilbers offers training seminars in effective business writing. E-mail him at His website is