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!

www.basic-learning.com
info@basic-learning.com
888.204.3600

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tell Them What You're Going to Tell Them


Tell them what you're going to tell them.  Remember to put the main points of your letter or email in the "subject" line.  Do not assume that folks are waiting breathlessly to read your every word; they want to know up-.front why you are writing.


www.basic-learning.com  "Target Your Professional Growth"
Writing tips, writing course, Bull's Eye Business Writing Workbook, e-workbooks in soft skills, online business courses, training kits, assessment tools and more www.basic-learning.com








Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jokes in e-mail

When to tell a joke in an email?  The chances are, you should not. As much as we think of email as an informal way of communicating, you should assume that everything you write will be read by people other than those you have addressed, possibly including human resources personnel or lawyers.  It is better to be ‘short and sweet,’ and save the jokes for later.

http://www.basic-learning.com
"Target Your Professional Growth"
Writing tips, writing course, Bull's Eye Business Writing Workbook, e-workbooks in soft skills, online business courses, training kits, assessment tools and more
info@basic-learning.com

"You" in a Memo

When should you use “you” in a memo?  When written in conversational memos, the overuse of “you” sounds like the writer is giving orders to the reader.   Relying on “you” suggests that the writer is giving directions, as in traffic directions or recipes.

http://www.basic-learning.com "Target Your Professional Growth" 
Writing tips, writing course, Bull's Eye Business Writing Workbook, e-workbooks in soft skills, online business courses, training kits, assessment tools and more
info@basic-learning.com

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Exasperating or exacerbating?

During the recent NBA finals, an announcer said that a player interfering in an argument between two other players was “exasperating the situation.” No, he wasn’t. What was probably meant was “exacerbating” the situation, which means “making it worse.” The player received a technical foul from the referee, most likely exasperating his coach. Likewise, he aggravated the situation, rather than his coach, as “aggravate” also means “to make worse,” not “annoy,” which is how it is often misused.
http://www.basic-learning.com/
info@basic-learning.com
"Target Your Professional Growth" Writing tips, writing course, Bull's Eye Business Writing Workbook, e-workbooks in soft skills, online business courses, training kits, assessment tools and more

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Proofreading

A useful proofreading method is to print out your writing and work on a hard copy. Many people find it hard to focus deeply on a monitor and have greater success with a printed copy. In addition to printing, take a break for a few minutes, or even an hour or two, so that you look at your work with fresh eyes.

Make a favorable impression upon those receiving your work by taking the time to proofread first. The investment will be well worth it.


http://www.basic-learning.com/
info@basic-learning.com
"Target Your Professional Growth"
Writing tips, writing course, Bull's Eye Business Writing Workbook, e-workbooks in soft skills, online business courses, training kits, assessment tools, and more!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Their vs. his/her

Do you ever hear someone say something like, “The student must bring their book”? This is wrong because ‘student’ is singular, and ‘their’ is plural. Unfortunately, this is a weakness in the
English language—there is no singular object pronoun for undetermined sex. It may sound funny, but the correct usage is “The student must bring his or her books.


http://www.basic-learning.com/ "Target Your Professional Growth"
Writing tips, writing course, Bull's Eye Business Writing Workbook, e-workbooks in soft skills, online business courses, training kits, assessment tools and more
http://www.basic-learning.com/ 888.204.3600

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The "Imperial We"

The “Imperial We”

People always note, when they hear the Queen of England speak, that she uses ‘we’ instead of ‘I.’ The reason is that she speaks for the nation.

When you write emails or letters, try to use ‘we’ instead of ‘I.’ This encourages the reader to think of you as part of a team. Think of it as the ‘Corporate We.’

Send us your questions. We're here to help!


www.basic-learning.com "Target Your Professional Growth"
Writing tips, writing course, writing workbook, e-workbooks in soft skills, online business courses, training kits, assessment tools and morewww.basic-learning.com

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My or mine?

One of our readers wrote in to ask when to use "my" and when to use "mine." The word "my" is used before a noun, as in "That is my desk." Once the noun, in this case, "desk" has been established, the word "mine" can take its place. "That is mine."

Send us your questions. We're here to help!

www.basic-learning.com "Target Your Professional Growth" Writing tips, writing course, writing workbook, e-workbooks in soft skills, online business courses, training kits, assessment tools and morewww.basic-learning.com "Target Your Professional Growth" Writing tips, writing course, and writing workbook

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Its and it's

I often see "it's" written when one means to use the possessive "its." A simple way to avoid this problem is to think "it's" means "it is." The apostrophe mark indicates a letter is missing. "Its" does not have an apostrophe. "Its" indicates possession as in "The dress lost its lustre after being washed."



www.basic-learning.com "Target Your Professional Growth" Writing tips, writing course, writing workbook, e-workbooks in soft skills, online business courses, training kits, assessment tools and more.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Underlining for emphasis

One of our readers, Francis Ford, wrote in to comment on our tip "How to show emphasis." He said that it is no longer necessary to underline words for emphasis as it was when documents were written by hand or typewriter. Today, when people see a word underlined, they expect to find a hyperlink . Mr. Ford makes a good point. Italics or bold can be used for emphasis instead.


www.basic-learning.com "Target Your Professional Growth" Writing tips, writing course, and writing workbook

Monday, March 14, 2011

Errors all around us

Have you ever looked at a billboard or a sign in a store and wondered if the proofreaders were asleep on the job? It seems to happen more and more often these days: errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation on signage. Here are some examples from my collection:
Kleen Lighting Technology at It's best
Visionary Family Conference - Never to Late
Contractor's tag line: "No home to big or small. We service them all."

Feel free to submit yours.



www.basic-learning.com "Target Your Professional Growth" Writing tips, writing course, and writing workbook
Phone: 954.474.4311 E-mail: info@basic-learning.com

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Some of the words and phrases people use are simply made up. They do not exist and should not be used in proper English.
1. Supposably [meant to say - supposedly]. Example: Supposedly she is coming tomorrow.
2. Irregardless [meant to say - regardless]. Example: Please call me regardless of the time.
3. For all intensive purposes [meant to say - for all intents and purposes]. Examples: For all intents and purposes, she is hired.
4. Use to [meant to say - used to]. Example: We used to be colleagues.

www.basic-learning.com "Target Your Professional Growth" Writing tips, writing course, and writing workbook

Friday, February 25, 2011

Have you noticed lately that few people are really good writers? It seems that those who come to this country and study English end up becoming better writers than those who were born here!

It may be the prevalance of texting or the fact that the average person is not reading a daily newspaper or a book often enough. College instructors often complain that their students aren't even reading the assigned chapters. Reading less often deprives one of opportunities to observe proper sentence construction, good use of language, and more. Hopefully, the use of Kindle and other devices for reading e-books on the go will motivate more people, especially the younger generation, to start reading again. We can only hope.

www.basic-learning.com "Target Your Professional Growth" Writing tips, writing course, and writing workbook

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tip # 641: State abbreviations and proofreading

Tip #641: State abbreviations and proofreading

As eight states in the U.S. begin with the letter 'M' and four begin with the letter 'A,' it is easy to make a mistake when writing state abbreviations. Do not assume that the abbreviation consists of the state's first two letters.

Here are the state abbreviations for the ones that often get confused.

Maine ME
Maryland MD
Massachusetts MA
Michigan MI
Minnesota MN
Mississippi MS
Missouri MO
Montana MT

Alaska AK
Alabama AL
Arizona AZ
Arkansas AR

Proofread addresses carefully, especially place names. An error in a single keystroke could create confusion, especially when cities with the same names are located in different states in the U.S.

If you are interested in receiving the complete edition of our weekly writing tips, open a new window and paste this url into your browser: www.basic-learning.com/completetipssignup.aspx

Basic Learning Systems "Target Your Professional Growth"
www.basic-learning.com info@basic-learning.com
Writing tips, writing course, writing workbook, soft skills e-workbooks and training resources, and online business courses.