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Welcome to Ubiquity’s Communication Corner

The Communication Corner is dedicated to helping you better write and speak about your professional specialty. It is a monthly feature, programmed to help you progressively acquire the skills of professional writers and speakers.

Each monthly installment will have three parts: An essay on a fundamental aspect of effective writing or speaking, a do-it-yourself exercise to help you practice the topic being discussed, and an invitation to submit your exercise for a possible (but not guaranteed) commentary on your draft.

Philip Yaffe, a retired journalist for the Wall Street Journal and a member of the Ubiquity editorial board, is the moderator of the Communication Corner.

We invite you to subscribe via the signup box at the left.  We will send you announcements of new installments of the Communication Corner, approximately once a month.

Readers who subscribe will be able to download a free PDF copy of Philip Yaffe's book The Gettysburg Approach to Writing & Speaking like a Professional.

Articles

  • Funny Headlines: Laugh at Your Peril

    Each "Communication Corner" essay is self-contained; however, they build on each other. For best results, before reading this essay and doing the exercise, go to the first essay "How an Ugly Duckling Became a Swan," then read each succeeding essay.

    Have you ever been reading a newspaper or magazine and come across a headline that seemed unclear, or puzzling, or that made you laugh out loud because of its apparent stupidity? Almost certainly you have. But how do these bizarre lapses happen---and what can they teach us about our own writing?

  • Speaking and Writing: Essentially the Same and Importantly Different

    Each "Communication Corner" essay is self-contained; however, they build on each other. For best results, before reading this essay and doing the exercise, go to the first essay "How an Ugly Duckling Became a Swan," then read each succeeding essay.

    If you have been following these Communication Corner essays, you have read the above paragraph many, many times. However, this essay will be radically different because is not self-contained; rather it is the summation of everything that has gone before. Every effort has been made to make each section self-contained. Where this was not possible, links to previous Communication Corner essays have been included.