Don’t let your writing get ‘totaled’ in 2016


(Photo credit: Alex Borland/

I want to make every word count this year.

That urge was reinforced when we received a surprise Christmas card.

A couple we met this year are on a year-long cross-country trip.

Their handwritten card’s first sentence read:

“On our trip, John has totaled…35 states so far.”

That’s how the card appeared. “Totaled” ended the first line.

For a moment, my heart raced. I thought the worst. “Totaled” what?

One word can make, or break, your writing. Choose carefully.



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