Communication Tips

 
Dr. English

Many geoprofessional reports include recommendations whose efficacy is dependent upon findings in the field. If the subsurface conditions observed during excavation are the same as those inferred to exist based on the results of sampling and testing, and the geoprofessional’s knowledge, e...

[ssba]
October 20, 2014
Dr. English

Geoprofessionals write more than just about any other professionals, are constantly under the gun to produce now, and are personally liable for every word they write in their professional capacities. And because the best legal evidence always is what’s in writing, wise geoprofessionals wa...

[ssba]
June 8, 2014
Dr. English

“You, too, can have the vocabulary of a Harvard English major.” You’ve probably seen that advertisement in airline magazines, suggesting that you, too, can develop knowledge of words that other people don’t know, making them feel stupid and, thus, elevating your own self-image. As i...

[ssba]
November 26, 2013
Dr. English

It’s pretty common for people to mishear a word or phrase and then go on to use it improperly, and it’s also pretty common for those who recognize the corruption to say nothing about it, so as not to offend the user. Just a few you may be familiar with: An early adapter : would be som...

[ssba]
October 28, 2013
Dr. English

Remember the old days when you had to submit a paper that contained at least 1,500 words, so you did everything you possibly could to add words when your count came up short? All the words you added were worthless, of course, except to the extent that they got you to where you had to be num...

[ssba]
September 19, 2013
Dr. English

“You, too, can have the vocabulary of a Harvard English major.” You’ve probably seen that advertisement in airline magazines, suggesting that you, too, can develop knowledge of words that other people don’t know, making them feel stupid and, thus, elevating your own ...

[ssba]
July 1, 2013
Dr. English

One of the nicer features of GBA’s webinars is the speakers’ willingness to answer questions. An important question came in after the webcast of “Think. Be Accurate.”, a John Bachner-led presentation focusing on commonly used words and phrases that can be dangerous. ...

[ssba]
May 13, 2013
Dr. English

We’ve written about the difference between “which” and “that”; how “which” tends to be more specific than “that,” but “that” usually works well and is easy. But what about the difference between “that” and “...

[ssba]
January 10, 2013
Dr. English

“Including” does not mean “limited to.” Nonetheless, some people seem to write as though “including” doesn’t exist. What does? “Including, but not limited to.” How dumb does that sound? As dumb as eschewing “The alphabet includes A...

[ssba]
December 14, 2012
Dr. English

Herodotus of Halicarnassus, the fifth-century BC Greek researcher and storyteller, is generally recognized as the world’s first historian. In his book The Histories, as translated by A.D. Godley in 1924, he supposedly wrote, “It is said that as many days as there are in the whol...

[ssba]
November 15, 2012
Dr. English

If you’re like many individuals who learned English in the U.S. school system, you were probably told that, when it came to titles, you should not capitalize “little words,” like “to” and “is.” In my humble opinion, such guidance is absolutely wrong...

[ssba]
February 14, 2012
Dr. English

Thanks to the magic of electronic communication, it’s possible for the good doctor to make house calls. Make your needs for visitation known by sending your request to info@geoprofessional.org. Here’s a recent exchange. Member: Help us, Dr. English! We are debating the use of ...

[ssba]
November 2, 2011
Dr. English

The good doctor has written about this issue before, with little effect. Now the good doctor is getting angry and may be ready to start making unrequested house calls. The topic: Expressions that have gotten twisted about, like the one that suggests we should hone in on one issue or another...

[ssba]
January 17, 2011
Dr. English

“Farther” and “further” have for many years been considered interchangeable, but they are not the same. “Farther” is associated with physical distances. As such, if you can substitute “more distance” (e.g., more yards, more laps, or more miles) for “farther,” you probabl...

[ssba]
August 2, 2010