Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Run-ons and comma splices

Run-ons are sentences that join two complete sentences without any punctuation. Ex: Our company is doing well our profits are on the rise.

Comma splices do the same thing, except they use a comma between the complete sentences. Ex: Our company is doing well, our profits are on the rise. Both run-ons and comma splices are errors that should be avoided.

They can be corrected in three ways:
Separate sentences with a period;
Separate sentences with a semicolon;
Separate sentences with a comma and a conjunction.

Ex:    
Our company is doing well. Our profits are on the rise.
Our company is doing well; our profits are on the rise.
Our company is doing well, and our profits are on the rise.

See our website to learn about the new edition of the Bull's Eye Business Writing Workbook. "Work smarter, not harder." http://www.basic-learning.com "Target Your Professional Growth" Business writing workbook, six-week course, soft skills training kits, assessment tools, online business courses and MORE!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Writing in plain English

What does it mean to write something in “plain English”? It means to write a document simply and clearly, holding your audience in mind. To write in plain English, follow these guidelines:

1. Avoid using complicated or unusual words.
2. Write shorter sentences that focus on one
idea at a time.
3. Lay out all of the ideas instead of assuming
that the reader will figure out what you meant.

See our website to learn about the new edition of the Bull's Eye Business Writing Workbook. "Work smarter, not harder." http://www.basic-learning.com "Target Your Professional Growth" Business writing workbook, six-week course, soft skills training kits, assessment tools, online business courses and MORE!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

First annual or inaugural?

Is it right to say “first annual” about an event (ex: first annual company picnic) or is it a contradiction of terms? Annual implies that the event has been taking place once every year. Therefore, at the time of the initial event the implication would be false because nothing has happened yet.

While beginning an annual tradition may be the intention, the general rule is that language has to describe the current state of affairs, not an intention of something happening
 in the future. Therefore, the first event cannot be called annual. It can, however, be called inaugural, which sufficiently signals the intention to make something into a series. The second event can be called second annual.
Some writers and editors, however, prefer to wait until the third year (to confirm that the tradition is truly established) before they start calling it annual.

This rule does not apply to financial arrangements, in which the person is expected to follow a pre-determined payment schedule. Ex: first monthly payment; first annual contribution.

See our website to learn about the new edition of the Bull's Eye Business Writing Workbook. "Work smarter, not harder." http://www.basic-learning.com "Target Your Professional Growth" Business writing workbook, six-week course, soft skills training kits, assessment tools, online business courses and MORE!

There is and there are

Avoid beginning sentences with 'there is' or 'there are.' These phrases
burden the sentence without adding anything of substance. Eliminating them
makes the sentence crisper and more professional.

Example: There are five members on our committee.
Better:    Our committee consists of five members.

Example: There is a new plan that will be put into effect in March.
Better: A new plan will be put into effect in March.

See our website to learn about the new edition of the Bull's Eye Business Writing Workbook. "Work smarter, not harder." http://www.basic-learning.com "Target Your Professional Growth" Business writing workbook, six-week course, soft skills training kits, assessment tools, online business courses and MORE!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Misused words

Between and among
Between is usually used when referring to two individuals or things. Among is used when referring to more than two individuals or things. Ex: The bonus will be divided between Cathy and Mark. The bonus will be divided among all group members.

Entitled and titled
Entitled means “having the right to.” Titled means carrying a particular name. Ex: Every employee is entitled to a paid vacation. Our report is titled “Early Student Intervention.”

Principle and principal
The word principle is a noun. It means “a rule or code of ethics.” The word principal can be either a noun or an adjective. As a noun it means “a person in charge.” As an adjective it means “main” or “the most important.” Ex: The principal dancer at the ballet earns a higher salary. Our approach to work is based on the principle that good customer service comes first.


See our website to learn about the new edition of the Bull's Eye Business Writing Workbook. "Work smarter, not harder." http://www.basic-learning.com "Target Your Professional Growth" Business writing workbook, six-week course, soft skills training kits, assessment tools, online business courses and MORE!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Word emphasis

One of our readers, Frances Ford, made the following suggestion: Instead of using underlining to emphasize a word, use italics or bold. When readers see underlining, they typically associate it with a hyperlink.


See our website to learn about the new edition of the Bull's Eye Business Writing Workbook.
"Work smarter, not harder."
http://www.basic-learning.com "Target Your Professional Growth"
Business writing workbook, six-week course, soft skills training kits, assessment tools, online business courses and MORE!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Write with the reader in mind

When writing copy, always focus on the reader.  For example, don’t write “Our sales seminar will cover three important tools for contacting customers.”  Instead, focus on your readers with “In this sales seminar, you’ll gain four important techniques that will help you to successfully contact customers.”

See our website to learn about the new edition of the Bull's Eye Business Writing Workbook. "Work smarter, not harder."


Business writing workbook, six-week course, soft skills training kits, assessment tools, online business courses and MORE!

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