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"Did You Know?"
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Featured Article:
Dead-Tree Luddites
by Genevieve LaGreca, Ludwig von Mises Institute

Imagine where human civilization would be without the Gutenberg printing press, the most important and revolutionary invention in  human history.  The printing press changed the course of history by enabling the mass distribution of low-cost information; it was the 15th Century's Internet.

But many vested interests back then tried to ban the printing press, just like many today are trying to ban emerging information technologies. What happens if our book industry succeeds in stifling today's e-printing presses?





Garner's Modern American Usage


Chicago Manual of Style


AP Stylebook


The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier 


 The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation



On Economics ... Edgar the Exploiter

Edgar the Exploiter is an animated short that defends voluntary employer-employee relations and demonstrates the harm that policies like minimum-wage laws inflict on the very people they are supposed to help.


Edgar is a capitalist who hires Simon as an unskilled laborer, until a minimum-wage law impels Edgar to lay Simon off.

Give it a view. It is beautifully done.

Brought to you by
The Ludwig von Mises Institute


"We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."  

--British Prime Minister

Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

"A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it ... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."

Milton Friedman

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Probizwriters Newsletter
Vol. 2 - May 2012

Dear David, 

Our first newsletter last month was well received, and we appreciate the many thoughtful reader comments. Since readers liked what they saw, we're encouraged to continue attempting to provide helpful information about business writing  


Our goal is to get to know you better, learn from your experience, and help you achieve your business goals, especially when it comes to managing your essential business communication and documentation.


How Content Accelerates Your Business


Today, your customers get their information from search engines, social media referrals, online news sites and targeted content. Your business loses if it's not among the solutions when customers are looking. Even if they do find your site, you still lose them if you don't have compelling content to engage them.


So you must publish, tell stories and become interesting to customers so that they find, like, and trust you. Your content represents your brand and your expertise - your ability to meet the customer's needs.


And content must be maintained to succeed. Whether online or offline, the content you publish needs to be regularly updated to remain relevant, timely and accurate. When you neglect content maintenance you risk:

  • Old, inaccurate or irrelevant content.
  • Broken links within the content.
  • Policy changes that are inconsistent with content.

In the end, you want content that:

  • Is relevant, timely and useful.
  • Adds value to your customers' experience.
  • Meets your organizational goals. 

"Did You Know?"                                       From the Executive Editor


Editorial notes you may find useful in your writing: 


 8 Things that make your business pitch weak.
  1. Boring. Even though the market's needs and your solutions aren't boring, bring them to life through stories that resonate, rather than by merely recounting "facts." Tell us about people with passion and intelligence, great ideas, interesting beginnings, how and why you jumped in, and how the world gets better as your business grows.

  2. Financials without assumptions. It's clearly-stated assumptions that make financial projections interesting or compelling. Bring them to life with pictures, people, stories, and prospects. Numbers by themselves are just numbers. Explain what makes your numbers fascinating. Do some research, and find out how others liven up their business presentations.

  3. Slides full of words. If you're using slides in any part of your presentation, don't fill them with words. Use slides to depict what you're saying. When you read off a slide you're losing your audience.

  4. Buzzwords. Don't use trendy buzzwords like "cutting edge" or "viral." Being trendy in word choice diminishes your uniqueness and detracts from your substance. Plus, it makes you look like you think being trendy is important ... which it's not.

  5. Complicated Numbers. Enable your readers to judge your projections for realism and credibility. All they need is sales, costs, expenses, cash flow, and other basic numbers. Complicated analyses like internal rates of return, net present value, and discounted cash flow may make you look like you got A's in business school, but your investor needs realistic and very clear numbers based on solid and well-presented assumptions. If they want an IRR they'll do it themselves, or ask you for it.

  6. "And the market is "t h i s   b i g." Attempting to validate your prospective sales by talking about the vast multi-billion dollar market and how big your slice will be falls flat. It's best to validate your sales from the bottom up - by illustrating the merit and accuracy of your assumptions.

  7. Bluster. Be clear about uncertainties and what you don't know. Don't bluff prospective investors.

  8. Flowery Adjectives. Just tell the essentials of your story (what you have, how you got where you are, where you're going, and how you're getting there), and let your reader decide the adjectives. If you call it "great" or "disruptive" the investor thinks you're puffing and becomes a skeptic. 




Ending Sentences with Prepositions.  


The spurious rule about not ending sentences with prepositions is a remnant of Latin grammar, in which a preposition was the one word that a writer could not end a sentence with. But Latin grammar should never straitjacket English grammar. If the superstition is a "rule" at all, it is a rule of rhetoric and not of grammar, the idea being to end sentences with strong words that drive a point home. That principle is sound, but not to the extent of meriting lockstep adherence or flouting established idiom.

The idea that a preposition is ungrammatical at the end of a sentence is often attributed to 18th-century grammarians. But that idea is greatly overstated. Bishop Robert Lowth, the most prominent 18th-century grammarian, wrote that the final preposition "is an idiom, which our language is strongly inclined to: it prevails in common conversation, and suits very well with the familiar style in writing." A Short Introduction to English Grammar 137 (rev. ed. 1782).

Winston Churchill's witticism about the absurdity of this bugaboo should have laid it to rest. When someone once upbraided him for ending a sentence with a preposition, he rejoined, "That is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I shall not put." Avoiding a preposition at the end of the sentence sometimes leads to just such a preposterous monstrosity.

Perfectly natural-sounding sentences end with prepositions, particularly when a verb with a preposition-particle appears at the end (as in "follow up" or "ask for"). E.g.: "The act had no causal connection with the injury complained of." When one decides against such formal (sometimes downright stilted) constructions as "of which," "on which," and "for which" -- and instead chooses the relative "that" -- the preposition is necessarily sent to the end of the sentence: "This is a point on which I must insist" becomes far more natural as "This is a point that I must insist on."

Good writers don't hesitate to end their sentences with prepositions if doing so results in phrasing that seems natural.






Probizwriters News


Nemacolin Energy Institute


The Nemacolin Energy Institute (Farmington PA) has recently retained PBW, in an 18-month engagement, to produce a series of white papers and articles on emerging issues in the U.S. energy industry - for distribution to industry executives, government officials and the public. To complete this important long-term project, PBW will work directly with NEI Board Member Edward Burghard.  


NEI is a non-profit organization devoted to developing and disseminating highly-relevant information about essential aspects of the U.S. energy industry. Its mission is to aid the understanding of energy-related facts among leaders in the public, private and energy sectors, and to foster wise energy-planning decisions based on those facts, rather than popular sentiment or misinformation. Mr. Burghard is CEO and Manager, The Burghard Group, and a retired P&G Harley Proctor Marketer.  



Ridge Global / Corporate Security
Corporate Security

PBW is now working directly with Gov. Tom Ridge (1st Secretary of Homeland Security, 2-term Pennsylvania Governor, and U.S. Congressman) a
nd the Washington DC-based Ridge Global team ofsecurity experts on the development of a white paper addressingemerging corporate security issues in the global economy.

This high-utility white paper, drawn from the best minds in the United States on the subject of corporate security, will be distributed widely through the National Association of Entrepreneurship to leading business executives.

Live Safe Foundation / EM2 Roundtable

On March 4, 2012 Probizwriters' Executive Editor David Speaker had the privilege of acting as Moderator for this exclusive Roundtable conference of leading U.S. Emergency Management Experts.

Held at the Columbus Ohio Hyatt Regency, the conference topic was "Preparing for the Big Disaster - What communication elements render an institution 'well prepared' to manage events during a disaster?" and the dialog produced actionable results and valuable core material for development of a forthcoming topical White Paper now being written by Probizwriters for wide release to the nation's emergency-management community.

We're developing our own distribution lists for these must-read papers and hope you'll let us know if you'd like to receive a copy when they're released. Request your copy by email: research@probizwriters.com 

onal Association of Entrepreneurship

NAE recently select
ed Probizwriters to serve as editor-in-chief of its Research Center, a post that includes developing and managing content for NAE's various publications. 

Thanks for reading; we hope you found some helpful information. Please email us with your suggestions, questions or feedback.

Best regards,


David Speaker, Executive Editor
Probizwriters, LLC

Copyright © 2012, Probizwriters, LLC. All rights reserved. Rates and timetables quoted on a per project basis.

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