What Will Happen to you When you Work with Me: a Warning

Doorway. Villa D’Este, Tivoli, Italy

When you work with me this is what will happen: You’ll feel good about your writing. You will feel confident.

You will be part of my posse henceforth.

You will feel comfortable using words like henceforth and you will feel confident knowing when not to use words like henceforth.

I’ll keep you in mind and send you articles and interesting, pertinent info. I will also be available for quick questions via e-mail or phone.

You will know what the word penultimate means. Why? Because I’m passionate about the proper use of language. If we’re talking and I start to squirm, there’s a chance that you’ve used the word penultimate to mean the best, really terrific. This is a flaw I have. I admit it. Copyediting road signs and menus is an occupational hazard, especially for someone who took Latin throughout high school.  Penultimate is one of those words that has one very specific meaning: second to last.

In this respect, I have another flaw that you should know about. If you say to me, “Between you and I,” I will look like I want to tell you something, and I will: “It’s between you and me.”

I’m taking a huge risk in telling you all this. I don’t want you to think I’m a word snob. I am not. In the end, whether or not you use a word correctly doesn’t matter. What does matter is that what you say, what you write, has impact. Changes people. Comes across clearly. If you want to work with me on grammar and all that stuff, great. If you want simply to focus on packing a punch, I’ll gladly handle everything else.