Posts Tagged ‘Scott McKain’

Ancient grammar issues + giveaway winner

April 5, 2013 |  by  |  Grammar matters  |  , ,  |  6 Comments

 

grammar policeCan’t remember when to use an apostrophe? Get the cold sweats over semicolons?

Well, at least according to comic Wiley Miller’s take on ancient history, Egyptians made grammar blunders too. Gotta love the kicker here: “Oh, for cryin’ out loud … you never end a sentence with a (bird figure)!”

Indeed, the art of word crafting and science of grammar rules can make writing seem almost mystical, a magic out of reach. I took a graduate course on editing last year, and learned a lot from my trusty When Words Collide. In fact, I keep it within arm’s length whenever writing, so I’m ready to take on (almost) any editing question.

Besides forever striking the word “irregardless” from our vocabularies, such a helpful grammar ally guides writing. If you’re serious about being a writer or editor, I highly suggest getting a reliable grammar guide. Keep it close. Let’s show those ancient grammar police who’s boss!

We all have our grammar strengths and  faux pas. Here are my grammar weaknesses – the ones I have to look up often! I’ve personalized this mini grammar lesson, and included you’ll see links to my personal blog. You’re welcome to check out the ones (that/which) pique your interest:

Grammar Rules to Remember

 that/which/who

that restricts meaning
which elaborates on it
who can be used in either case for people or things personifying humans

Examples:

A free service that takes the headache out of budgeting.
The funeral procession for the officer, which involved Ogden’s community, made us remember.
A snowboarder who does tricks would be cool to see!

 affect v. effect

affect means to influence or to pretend to have
effect means result or impact

Examples:

The next time we go to Bear Lake, I’m sure Ryan will be affected by the blue water’s call.
The effect of wedding cake smeared on our faces made the crowd laugh.

“Create Distinction” giveaway winner

Last week I was delighted to share a Q & A with best-selling author and speaker, Scott McKain. Thanks to those who entered to win his book, “Create Distinction.” A signed copy of the book goes to…Gloria!

Here are her thoughts on distinction:

create distinction

If everyone believed in themselves and their own truths, and told their stories with confidence and openness, while others received them with the same kind of openness and confidence, I think that we wouldn’t be stuck in a rut today where we have to force ourselves to be “individuals” … Growing to trust yourself is the most organic way to distinction.

 

 

Comic mage via Non Sequitur Comics

Q & A with Scott McKain + win a signed copy of his new book “Create Distinction”

Last year I heard distinction expert Scott McKain give a keynote address. His vivacious and mesmerizing presentation hooked me into fandom. You see, Scott not only gives sound advice for business and life – he’s the living example of it. Besides being a best-selling author and well-known speaker, he sets himself apart by truly caring about people. I love that. You’ll soon see why I respect Scott so much: He’s as distinct as they come. And lucky you, he’s giving away a signed copy of his brand new book. Read on to see how you can win it!

Q. Congrats on your book, Create Distinscott mckainction (2013) launched this month in nationwide airport bookstores, from LAX to JFK. What’s it like seeing your own idea become a tangible reality?

Thank you! You’ve really touched upon the most gratifying — and surreal — aspects of being an author. When I’m speaking, I love the instantaneous response of the audience, yet wonder if there is any tangible impact. When I see the book on a shelf in the bookstore, or see someone reading the book on a plane, I’m thrilled because there is a sense of both accomplishment and completion. At the same time, it does seem quite extraordinary that something beginning as thoughts jotted on a legal pad in Starbucks can become a tangible product — one I’m fortunate that some people find of value.

Q. You’ve written three Amazon.com No. 1 business bestsellers – what makes the latest book stand out from your others?

This is the first time I’ve followed up on a previous book. “Create Distinction” is an expanded and updated version of my previous book, “Collapse of Distinction.” I wanted to do this for a couple of reasons; first, after the original was named to the “Top Ten Business Books of the Year” list by the Miami Herald and other major newspapers, I felt the previous publisher — and this author — didn’t quite do enough to maximize its potential in the marketplace. A “re-launch” would give the material the opportunity to find a wider audience.

However, I also wanted to validate the points of the earlier book by showing how the distinctive organizations I mentioned had performed since the original work. Any author can create a theory of how a business should approach the marketplace, or how customers should be served. The critical question I hear from corporate leaders and entrepreneurs, however, is, “Will this work in the real world?” “Create Distinction” provided me the opportunity to deliver the evidence that the answer is a resounding “yes!”

Q. In addition to being a celebrated author, you’re an energetic storyteller. I know, having experienced your powerful keynote speech in 2012. Which do you believe creates more distinction and why: writing or speaking?

The best answer is not new or original to me, however, it’s the best one: The magic is in the mix.

We all are aware of speakers with a compelling presentation style who have nothing of significance to say — they’re all style and no substance. On the other hand, there are authors who have deep content, but their presentation style doesn’t create audience engagement.

In today’s media-centric culture, it’s not about the “or” — it’s about “and.” The most distinctive content providers will be able to both write powerful stories and deliver compelling presentations. That’s a level to which I aspire.

Q. You learned a lot about pleasing customers when working at your parent’s small town grocery store as a kid. Back then, did you ever imagine yourself being an international expert on distinction?

NO! It never crossed my mind in Crothersville, Indiana that I would ever become an “international” anything! While I don’t like referring to myself as “lucky” — because that seems to imply mere random circumstance — I constantly see myself as extremely fortunate. I have been blessed with extraordinary mentors and colleagues, and have been encouraged by my family and friends to travel the “road not taken.” And, as the classic Frost poem proclaims, for me, too, it has made all the difference.

Q. Getting theoretical here, but if everyone avoided stifling sameness, would anyone be distinct?

It’s a great question. And, unfortunately, because of all the cliches we hear as kids, I don’t think we are in danger of it occurring. We are warned against standing out and attracting attention — and we have such a strong desire to “fit in” with our peers — that I believe we are predisposed to similarity.

Theoretically, yes, you’re right — if everyone was distinctive, then it would be common to do so. For some reason, that reminds me of the scene in Monty Python’s classic film, “Life of Brian,” where the throng is awaiting any words from the man they erroneously presume is holy. In his irritation to get them to stop following him, Brian shouts, “You are ALL individuals.” And, they respond in unison, “Yes! We are all individuals!”

My point is that uniformity and conformity have become so common, the sameness is — as you suggest — stifling. While it probably wouldn’t work for us ALL to become unique, my research and experience has taught me that YOUR business will profit and YOUR career will benefit if you create distinction.

create distinction

  WIN your own SIGNED COPY of “Create Distinction!”

To enter, “Like” this post and answer one of these questions in the comments:  What makes you distinct? OR Why does creating distinction matter? I’ll pick the most distinct answer as the winner! Be sure to comment soon – I’ll announce the winner Friday, April 5, 2013.

Connect with Scott McKain

See his site: createdistinction.com

Send him a tweet: @scottmckain

Check out his blog: mckainviewpoint.com