Credentials

No Ph.D. in English, I admit, but I was reading “chapter books” at age 3, helping the teacher with spelling tests by grade 7, and working as a paid proofreader by age 16. My SAT verbal score was 800 out of 800.

Pure left-brain? Yep. I have a degree in mathematics, and I hire right-brain people to help me with graphics.

I manipulate words in all my work — from Web sites to newsletters to articles for corporate publications. I’m mostly retired, but I still manage a lawyer’s website and do a newsletter for a non-profit society.

I read a lot. As you can see from the Fun Page, some of that is recreational reading.

I’ve also studied writing for online since the days when email came as green text on a black background, at 300 characters per second on a good day. I wrote a guide to using email for the International Association for Business Communicators. I followed experts such as Jakob Nielsen and Jared Spool to figure out what works online and why.

Bonus for those who have read this far: Look for the works of Terry Pratchett in the Science Fiction or Fantasy section, and for those of Donald Westlake and William Goldman in the fiction section. They are writers who obviously enjoy their words.

I have (and use!) a good collection of reference works on language, including two gems: the two-volume Oxford dictionary and Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.

My typing method is, um, proprietary — and you may find the occasional typographical error even here. Tell me, by all means, but don’t bother gloating. There will probably be a typo in the E-mail you send to tell me about my typo.