It’s December 1st, and that magical time of year is upon us, full of wonder, merriment . . . and the added stress of more deadlines on your to-do list. Instead of working myself into a tizzy planning my holiday meal menus, decorating the house and shopping for gifts, this self-proclaimed word nerd and grammar geek is getting into the holiday spirit by proposing a change to a beloved Christmas carol: I’m sure “The 12 Days of Crispness” will be a jolly old hit.

Lately it seems grammar gaffes, typos, and misunderstood (and misused) words have skyrocketed. They are blunders published in respected media outlets, mistakes written by business associates, and errors spoken by friends. Starting today, let’s challenge ourselves to keep our language “CRISP” – an acronym we developed at Stern + Associates to ensure our writing remains Concise/Compelling, Researched, Informative, Smart and Punctuated/Proofread. So hum along with me now:

On the first day of crispness, my colleague gave to me. . . the proper use of “I” versus “me.”

On the second day of crispness, my colleague gave to me . . . two subject/verb agreements, and the proper use of “I” versus “me.”

On the third day of crispness, my colleague gave to me. . . three grammar rules, two subject/verb agreements, and the proper use of “I” versus “me.”

. . . four participles that don’t dangle
. . .five style books!
. . . six unneeded words deleted
. . .seven corrected typos
. . . eight proofread pages
. . . nine Oxford commas
. . .ten unsplit infinitives
. . . eleven proper hyphens
. . . twelve apostrophes that possess

Make a resolution to “keep it CRISP” throughout the New Year. Happy Holidays!

A strong believer that relationships are the heart of business success, Joan is inspired by helping bring together interesting people, ideas and opportunities. And with nearly two decades at Stern, she has had no shortage of inspiration. In her role leading comprehensive programs and providing strategic counsel, she most enjoys leveraging synergies amongst clients and a wide network of influencers. This knack for forging connections extends to her deep involvement with professional and academic circles. An adjunct professor at Seton Hall University, she is director of digital communication and past president of the PRSA's NJ Chapter. When Joan isn’t making connections in the office, you might find her heading “down the shore,” devouring a good book, chasing around her toddler Elliott, or rocking out to her beloved Foo Fighters.