Administrative Professional Today

When it comes to e-mail habits, some of us are deleters and some are
hoarders. Either way, you can learn from these efficiency tips…

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Problem: I’ve been hearing and reading the phrase “went missing” lately. It’s frequently in the media and sounds terrible! Is this phrase grammatically correct? — Joyce Prosser, Administrative Assistant, Saint Anselm College, Manchester, N.H. The phrase is grammatically correct, at least according to British diction-aries, and most people do un- derstand what it means. But [...]

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A reader asks: “Is there a hard-and-fast rule regarding ‘that’ and ‘which?’” One way to figure out when to use “that” versus “which”: Take a look at the whole sentence, and then decide whether the word will introduce an essential or nonessential clause. “That” introduces clauses that are essential to understanding the sentence’s meaning, while [...]

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Earn customers’ loyalty by rescuing them from “the runaround.”

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Time-management expert Julie Morgenstern has advice for anyone feeling overwhelmed by work.

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One reader asks: “Please clarify the use of the word ‘I’ when using a pronoun with another name, such as: ‘These are the vacation schedules for Joan and I.’ Do you use I or me?” Whenever you’re unsure of which pronoun to use in a situation like this and don’t have time to dig into [...]

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People tend to overuse the passive voice because they think it’s more professional. In truth, readers prefer active sentences for their more direct and engaging tone. How can you spot a passive sentence? Three telltale signs: 1. Something happens to the subject of the sentence. Example: “The report was written last week.” 2. It contains [...]

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Starting off a letter or an e-mail message with a drab opening (“This is in response to …” or “Enclosed please find”) is a sure-fire way to put your readers to sleep just in time to miss your most important points. Add variety—and persuasiveness—to your messages by starting sentences with words that grab readers. Here’s [...]

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In a perfect world, we’d dish out compliments more freely than sprinkles on a kid’s ice cream cone.

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Problem: Lisa DiBuono, a legal administrative assistant in Greenwich, Conn., wants to know whether to capitalize seasons. Lesson: When you’re referring to a season, keep it lower case. If the word is part of a formal title, capitalize. Correct: “We’ll begin office renovations in the spring.” “The office dress code for summer is more relaxed.” [...]

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