Tabs on Writing

The Business of Business Writing by John Tabellione, Principal at

That’s Why They Put Erasers on Tops of Pencils

Posted by John on 20 March 2017 | No responses

Whether or not anyone ever uses pencils in this digital age, grammar and spelling can sometimes be complicated, but with a few memory tricks, anyone who writes–including professionals–can erase and correct embarrassing pitfalls, which we all do make. Just don’t always rely solely on “Spellcheck.”

For example, in a recent on-line article about landscaping trends, which included properly spelled tricky words such ambience, pollinators, al fresco, and croquet, the author tripped over a proverbial garden hose when it came to the second last paragraph.  With regard to the critical, long-awaited, Pantone 2017 “Color-of-the-year,” she typed the following: “…expect to see a greater emphasis placed on this yellowish-green and other shades that compliment (sic) it.”

Whereas “complement” means to complete, or to provide something felt to be lacking–in this case, the proper hues–it has to be one of the most misspelled/misused words by business people and professional writers alike. So, think of the “e” in “complete” when using complement.

On the other hand, “compliment” means to congratulate. Therefore, try to remember the “i” in the word “like” for compliment, such as: I consider the rest of the informative content of this gardening article very interesting.


Metropolitan Neapolitan

Posted by John on 14 March 2017 | No responses

Frequent visitors to this blog may be wondering where I’ve been, figuratively and literally, since it’s been over two weeks since my previous post.

We decided to visit some friends in the metropolitan Naples area–the one in Florida–along the Gulf of Mexico. It was a 10-hour plus drive from Atlanta and down along the length of the 450-mile Sunshine State,  similar to another famous, somewhat longer, peninsula: Italy.

Having driven in the other metro Naples along the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii, as recorded in my book, Pit Stops, Pit Falls and Olive Pits, begs the question: is there a new paperback or ebook in the making?

Well, we certainly had enough stops, visits and activities along the way to compose one:

  • A few days with our Italy travel companions, vet doc, Joe, and wife, Jean, who have a boat dock at their new condo on nearby Marco Island.
  • A visit to the Naples beach pier and a city tour with our friends, Cary and Rosemary, who later hosted a cocktail party and dinner for us.
  • A stop to stick our toes in the water at Siesta Key, a beach whose sand is without peer.
  • A family reunion and dinner with a dear cousin, Carolyn, and husband, Rocky at the marina in Sarasota.
  • A Stanley Tools reunion with a couple of dozen former sales associates: plyers of pliers from 30 years ago.

Truth be told, I’m actually considering a different breadth of topic as a possible book, but don’t hold your breath: this could take a while.




“Do You Believe in Miracles? Yesss!!!”

Posted by John on 22 February 2017 | No responses

That phrase for people in their 40’s and older should immediately connote one glorious moment in sports history: February 22, 1980. On that date the U.S. Olympic Hockey team achieved the upset of the 20th century by defeating the Soviet Union team 4-3 on a third period goal by Captain Mike Eruzione, at the XIII Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York

Two days later, the young American team, composed exclusively of amateur players, earned the Gold Medal with a 4-2 victory over Finland.

To put things in perspective, it was the end of an epoch for the  highly favored, four-time defending, gold-medal winning, Soviet team. Their group of professionals had won nearly every world championship and Olympic tournament between 1954 and 1980, and had never failed to medal in any International Ice Hockey Federation tournament.

So epic was the American victory that, not one, but two movies were later produced: a television sports docu-drama in 1981, called “Miracle on Ice;”  and, in 2004, a full length feature film, entitled, “Miracle.”

But nothing beats watching the “real” thing. Watch the last minute here.

P.S. Although I had the opportunity to attend the Lake Placid Olympics in 1980 with my company, Stanley Tools, I was not there for this particular historic moment. A year or two later, however, at a Stanley national trade show reception–Tabellione met Eruzione.

You’re a Wicked Good History Buff if You Can “Remember the Maine!”

Posted by John on 15 February 2017 | No responses

On this date in 1898, the American battleship USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor, killing 260 Americans and setting off the Spanish-American War two months later.

The decisive, main battle of the three-month long war was the Battle of San Juan Hill, during which the “Rough Riders” stormed the heights, on foot, actually, shouting the battle cry, “Remember the Maine!” Theodore Roosevelt, however, was the lone equestrian astride his steed, its mane flying in the wind. For his bravery the 28th President received the Medal of Honor posthumously in 2001.

Interestingly, today also represents the “birth” of the “Teddy Bear,” named after Roosevelt. Why? Mainly, because a few years later in 1902 when he was hunting in Mississippi, he found an old, injured black bear tied to a tree. Folklore has it that Roosevelt shot the bear to put it out of its misery, while some historians and others say he set it free. Since many of the political cartoons of the day portrayed the animal as a cub, it gave the impression that, underneath his outdoorsy, macho persona, Roosevelt was really a softie; hence, was born the concept of a “Teddy bear.”

What’s in YOUR Sup(p)er Bowl?

Posted by John on 4 February 2017 | No responses

As we eagerly await the Super Bowl clash between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, it’s also time to get all of the snacks and recipes ready.

Among everyone’s favorites for snack bowls are nachos, sliders and guacamole. Then, of course, there’s chili, and the Food Network offers 20 steaming hot chili recipes, perfect on a chilly night anywhere.

The No. 1 fan favorite in the U.S. for Sunday’s big game, however, is wings! Hopefully, that’s a good omen for our Atlanta Falcons for them to Rise Up!

So chill out, enjoy the Super Bowl, and your Sup(p)er Bowl of snacks and recipes.


Did Phil Have it Made in the Shade Today or Did He Get His Day in the Sun?

Posted by John on 2 February 2017 | No responses

Today Punxsutawney Phil, the prognosticator, poked out his proboscis, predicted plenty of more cold precipitation,* and proceeded to prepare for a ground hog’s (or marmot’s) predilection to propagate au printemps.

Whether or not you have faith in Phil’s foreseeable weather, it’s always fun to try to fathom if our fair-weather friend has figured out the forecast to a fair-thee-well.

For more furry and funny facts about Phil’s family, follow this link.


*(Six more weeks to be exact!)

Church Arch-itecture

Posted by John on 18 January 2017 | No responses

Recently, the Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, celebrated Mass at our parish–the Catholic Church of St. Ann–in order to bless the new columbarium, a structure built with niches that contain the cremated remains of the deceased.

A bishop is appointed to oversee and exercise authority over a particular territory called a diocese. Each diocese is then divided into local parishes. As the head of 167 parishes, Archbishop Gregory has frequent occasion to attend various festivities at these churches as a guest of honor, seated at their respective daises.




The Race is Over

Posted by John on 3 January 2017 | No responses

Regretfully, I have decided to apply an eraser to my other blog––not because I no longer love the home of my ancestry, nor because I no longer savor driving along the unique peninsula.

Quite the contrary, I’ve had a lot of fun promoting my book, Pit Stops, Pitfalls & Olive Pits through my blog about Italian food, culture, music ,art, sports, cities, towns, mountains, lakes and and seas. By now, however, I’ve broadcasted my travel memoir to just about all of my friends, family and associates. So, the time has come to dedicate more effort to other writing ventures.

I hope you’ve enjoyed connecting with all things Italian, and that you’ll pardon the erasure of


O Come, All Ye Faithful…

Posted by John on 23 December 2016 | No responses

The beloved Christmas carol, “O Come, All Ye Faithful”  has been attributed to various authors, with the earliest copies of the hymn bearing the signature of 18th century author, John Francis Wade. The music was composed by fellow Englishman John Reading in the early 1700s.

Credit for the hymn lyrics (originally Adeste Fideles in Latin) also go to St. Bonaventure in the 13th century, King John IV of Portugal in the 1600’s, as well as to certain orders of monks, i.e.,  Cistercian, German, Portuguese and Spanish orders.

The text has been translated a myriad number of times, but the most used version today is the English one,  “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” credited primarily to Frederick Oakley (1802–1880) even though he originally had entitled the song: “Ye Faithful, approach ye.”


O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold Him
Born the King of Angels:
O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of Heaven above!
Glory to God, glory in the highest:
O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given!
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing!
O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.


More of Clement Moore

Posted by John on 11 December 2016 | No responses

‘Twas not a creature stirring on Christmas Eve;
Not even a mouse under any house eave.

When out on the lawn there arose such a matter,
I sprang from my bed as I grew all the madder.

Away to the window I flew like a flash, all a-shudder;
Then threw up the sash after opening the shutter.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear but Santa Claus;
And eight tiny reindeer, prancing about on their cloven claws.

He was dressed all in fur trimming his bright red suit,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

On his back, a bundle of toys stuck out, e’en a bicycle pedal.
Opening his pack, he looked like he was about to peddle.

Laying a finger aside of his nose, giving a nod, he arose up the flue,
Sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle and like the down of a thistle away they all flew.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove his steeds like a knight:
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

With credits owed to Clement Moore for this ode.