Ruby Races for the Cure!

Reading time:

On Sunday, September 20th, sixteen of Ruby’s finest (and a few Ruby friends and family) joined over 43,000 others to walk through downtown Portland in order to raise funds for breast cancer research.  The annual Race for the Cure was quite a success and we are proud to have been a part of it.   Our team raised over $400 this year and had a great time doing it!

I would like to extend a personal thank you to all those who participated and made Ruby proud while (“also” deleted) making strides to improve the lives of others!

If you are interested in learning more about the Oregon Race for the Cure or making a donation, please visit the official website.

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Speak up and Proofread

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At Ruby Receptionists, we do a lot of writing.  Our team of virtual receptionists takes hundreds of messages each day.  The office is always abuzz with the sound of friendly voices and rapidly typing fingers.  Taking clear, accurate messages while balancing multiple telephone calls and remaining relentlessly friendly is no simple feat, but our team makes it seem so.  Two weeks ago, I fielded calls for the first time in many months, and believe me–it ain’t easy.

I started at Ruby as a receptionist around five years ago, and have since taken a position that is centered around writing.  From my days as a receptionist, working at Ruby has taught me the value of proofreading.  I’ve become a borderline-obsessive re-reader in an effort to catch any and all errors in my writing.  The trouble is, re-reading doesn’t always do the trick for me, and those sneaky errors have a habit of making themselves known after an email has been sent or a document published.

Recently, I’ve started using a new proofreading strategy: reading aloud.  Seems simple, right?  Obvious?  Well, it wasn’t to me, sadly, but it has proven very helpful.  I’ll admit it feels a bit awkward at first, but the results are well worth it for me.  By the way, in case you’re worried about disturbing your co-workers, you don’t have to read aloud loudly in order for this method to be effective.  No need to turn your latest memo into a test of your public speaking skills!

The next time you’re proofreading, I suggest speaking up (or speaking quietly to yourself). Now let’s hope this post is error-free…

🙂

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Confusing Word Pair: Affect and Effect

Reading time:

For the most part, affect and effect are easy to distinguish between.  When the word you’re looking for is a verb, affect is almost always the correct choice.  Effect is usually used to describe a noun.

Here are some examples:

  • Dizziness may be a side-effect of the medication.  The medication may affect you by making you dizzy.
  • The symphony had quite an effect on me.  The music affected me greatly.
  • The effects of the storm were widespread.  Many people were affected by the storm.
  • I love movies with special effects.  When done well, special effects really seem to affect the mood of an audience.

These standards apply in nearly every use of affect and effect.  There are two exceptions, but if you remember that affect is almost always a verb, and effect is almost always a noun, you will be ahead of the grammar game.

Now for those two tricky exceptions:

 

  1. Effect can be used as a verb meaning “to cause or achieve,” as in The politician promised to effect budget changes.
  2. As a noun, affect is a psychological term for “emotion,” as in The criminal showed a lack of affect.

 

Hopefully this grammar tip will affect your writing in a positive way–or, to put it in different words, I hope this grammar tip has a positive effect on your writing.

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