July 2008
Writing eTips: mid-month mini UpWrite Press

“Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow…”

—Lawrence Clark Powell

Word Pair of the Month: guarantee, guaranty

While both words are nouns and deal with an agreement, they are subtly different.

Guarantee refers to the promised quality of a product or service.

We received a written guarantee that the new roof would not leak.

A guaranty is the assurance to pay another’s debt should he or she default.

Since our son was under 21, we had to sign a guaranty of repayment on his loan.

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July Writers’ Forum Topic

Have you tried any new and exciting software lately? Are there any programs that get your motor running, or do you have a tried-and-true application you couldn’t live without? Share your favorites—old and new—with us.

Our readers made more suggestions about trying new programs than about specific products. Here’s some of the best advice.

Roberta Hong, an accountant near Modesto, California, says she is the adventurous type, always looking for new and exciting software.

My job requires specific software that, while it gets the job done, isn’t that exciting. At home I like to experiment with the new and unusual, and I enjoy programs that tap my creativity. I find it stimulating to try a new art program, and I especially love working with photo software, building great e-albums. I would suggest finding a program totally different from anything you use regularly, and having fun with it.

Geoff Washington, a law student in New York, searches out inexpensive or free programs:

I am a big fan of free downloads. I have found freeware and shareware in every program area, from text editors to music composers. Sometimes you can find reputable programs from less known companies. I even found a freeware download of an office suite compatible with MS Office, with all the features I needed! But I have also been burned by computer bugs and crashes from off-brand software, so if I can’t find a large number of convincing consumer reviews of a product, I skip it. I also make sure I have up-to-date virus detection software. I don’t skimp on that one.

Sam L. Weiner, a graphic artist, also in New York, likes free downloads, too, but advises being judicious.

You just have to be savvy about checking them out to see which are safe and which are nasty, then download programs you will really use. Don’t be greedy and grab everything you see—you’ll just clutter up your hard drive.

Jessica Dean of Providence, Rhode Island, prefers the safety of known products, but admits it can get expensive and offers this advice:

I don’t buy a new program upgrade as soon as it comes out, especially with the big names. The older versions still work fine and will probably do so for some time. I was very disappointed in the past when I ran out and spent big bucks for a “new, improved” version of a well-known product, only to find I didn’t need all the new bells and whistles and actually preferred the older version!

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Coming in August:

Choosing the Correct Level of Formality

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