Lessons From the Insurance Industry: You Don’t Need a Gecko to Set the Right Tone

We recently evaluated the correspondence of a major insurance company and its competitors. Using a benchmarking tool we developed, we rated their e-mails and letters to customers on seven Standards. One Standard that we carefully looked at was tone:  “Correspondence is written in a personal, professional tone.” While the topic of the correspondence frequently involved […]


Does Passive Voice Mean a Passive President?

Poor President Obama. Besieged from the right and the left on Afghanistan, Iran, the economy, not to mention the oil disaster in the Gulf. He’s accused of being too cerebral (No drama Obama) and of being too belligerent (“know whose ass to kick”).  Now he is under attack from the Word Police.  The Global Language […]


“Attrit” or Death By Buzzword

I’ve spent the last two days attending (and speaking at) the ACCE Call Center Management Conference. I have heard lots of insightful presentations about providing excellent customer service and I’ve met some really intelligent and interesting people. It’s been a great event. And I have heard some buzzwords! Some buzzwords that are new to me […]


Wordle: My Favorite New Toy

Wordle may not be new, but it’s new to me and I can’t stop playing with it. Wordle is “… a toy for generating ‘word clouds’ from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.” For word-loving writerly types, Wordle is irresistible. Not only […]