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Writing Tips: 131- 140

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Tip # 131:  Beware of poor English word usage.  Do not use "being
as," "being as how," and "being that."

  Incorrect:  "Being as" he's such a great person, I
              thought he would be chosen.
  Incorrect:  That is wrong, "being as how" we didn't
              know the question
  Incorrect:  "Being that" we get along, let us go to
              dinner.

Correct these sentences by using "because," "considering," or
"since."

*********************************************************

Replace the following poor English words:

1. I asked myself what I would of, could of, and should of done.
2. We went and called 911.
3. Seeing as you are an accountant, can you help me?
4. The system has not worked in regards to saving me money.

*********************************************************

Here is last week's exercise:
Try these sentences.  Place either the word "affect" or "effect" in
the sentence:

1. Sally's suggestion did not _____the decision.
2. The _____ of the new medicine is excellent.
3. She _______ an unsophisticated manner.
4. It was months before the full ______ took place.

These are the corrections:
1. Sally's suggestion did not affect the decision.
2. The effect of the new medicine is excellent.
3. She effects an unsophisticated manner.
4. It was months before the full effect took place.




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Tip # 132:  Persuasive Writing.  In proposal writing or technical
reports, facts interpreted to meet the reader's needs, not high-flown
language, make documents persuasive  The following are examples:

  Our newest copier can save you 38 percent on...
  The equipment's primary function is to....
  The most important benefit is...
  We can install it in 48 hours for X dollars.
  Neither the X machine nor the Y machine equals
    the precision of...

*********************************************************

Eliminate the unnecessary prepositions in the following sentences:

  1. She just couldn't start in to do her report.
  2. Let's divide up the project.
  3. When did they finally get down to the problem?
  4. The client arrived at about four o'clock.

*********************************************************

Here is last week's exercise:

Replace the following poor English words:

1. I asked myself what I would of, could of, and should of done.
2. We went and called 911.
3. Seeing as you are an accountant, can you help me?
4. The system has not worked in regards to saving me money.

Here are the answers:

1. I asked myself what I would have, could have, and should have
done.
2. We called 911.
3. Since you are an accountant, can you help me?
4. The system has not worked in regard to saving me money.




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Tip # 133:  A number of nouns are always considered plural, even
though they each refer to a single thing.  As subjects, they require
plural verbs.

Assets      Dues      Grounds    Proceeds   Savings
Belongings   Earnings  Odds   Quarters   Thanks
Credentials  Goods     Premises   Riches      Winnings

*********************************************************

Please choose the correct verb in the following sentences that
include indefinite pronouns as subjects.

1. All the reports (has, have) been returned.
2. Some of the manuscript  (was, were) acceptable.
3. Most of the stock (has, have) been sold.
4. None of the passengers (was, were) on the bus.
5. (Do, Does) any one of you know Mr. Johnson?

*********************************************************

Here is last week's exercise:
Eliminate the unnecessary prepositions in the following sentences:

1. She just couldn't start in to do her report.
2. Let's divide up the project.
3. When did they finally get down to the problem?

Here are the corrections:

1. She just couldn't start to do her report.
2. Let's divide the project.
3. When did they finally get to the problem?





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Tip # 134:  The wording of written meeting minutes should be factual,
brief, and devoid of editorial opinion and comments.  Therefore,
these are examples of what not to include in your minute taking: 
"inspiring" words, "interesting" topic, or "delightful" guest.

*********************************************************

Select the correct pronoun in the following sentences:

1. Why not have each witness write (his/her, their)
   version of the incident?
2. The company has not decided whether to change
   (their, its) policy on raises.
3. If Mr. Smith or Mr. Paris plans to attend the
   convention, (he, they) may pick up (his, their)
   tickets at the box office.
4. Neither Mary nor the writers completed (her, their)
   assignments.

*********************************************************

Here is last week's exercise:
Please choose the correct verb in the following sentences that
include indefinite pronouns as subjects.

1. All the reports (has, have) been returned.
2. Some of the manuscript  (was, were) acceptable.
3. Most of the stock (has, have) been sold.
4. None of the passengers (was, were) on the bus.
5. (Do, Does) any one of you know Mr. Johnson?

Here are the answers:

1. All the reports have been returned.
2. Some of the manuscript was acceptable.
3. Most of the stock has been sold.
4. None of the passengers were on the bus.
5. Do any one of you know Mr. Johnson?




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Tip # 135:   Avoid double comparisons.  I received this inquiry about
comparisons that I wanted to share. 

  "Thank you for your writing tips.  If you could
  address the correct verbiage for the following:
  more madder, and or more prouder.  Lately it seems
  to me that even the newscasters are using "more madder".    

The words "madder" and "prouder" are already in the comparative
degree; therefore, you do not need the word "more."   Use "madder"
and "prouder."  Avoid this double comparison.

*********************************************************

Please choose the correct word in the following comparisons:

1. This is the (finer, finest) piece of manuscripts I
   could find.
2. Of the two open positions, you have chosen the (more,
   most) promising.
3. I like Joe's plan (better, best) than Harry's or
   Mary's.
4. Next year we hope to do a (more complete, completer)
   study of the problem.

*********************************************************

Please note the correction to last week's answers (from exercise in
tip # 133).   Sentence # 5 should be corrected: Does any one of you
know Mr. Johnson?  (Thanks to Colin Thomas for pointing this out.) 
The sentence would have been correct if it had stated, " Do any of
you know Mr. Johnson?"

This was last week's exercise:  Select the correct pronoun in the
following sentences:

1. Why not have each witness write (his/her, their)
   version of the incident?
2. The company has not decided whether to change (their,
   its) policy on raises.
3. If Mr. Smith or Mr. Paris plans to attend the
   convention, (he, they) may pick up (his, their) tickets
   at the box office.
4. Neither Mary nor the writers completed (her, their)
   assignments.

Here are the corrected answers:
1. Why not have each witness write his/her
   version of the incident?
2. The company has not decided whether to change
    its policy on raises.
3. If Mr. Smith or Mr. Paris plans to attend the
   convention, he may pick up his tickets at the
   box office.
4. Neither Mary nor the writers completed their
   assignments.




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Tip #136:  Get rid of weak introductory phrases. 
  Examples are:

   There is
   There are
   It has been
   It appears
   I would hope that

*********************************************************

Rewrite the following sentences with stronger introductory phrases:

1. There is difficulty with receiving our payments
   on time.
2. I would hope that dividends will not be paid late.
3. It appears that we do not have a winner.
4. It has been brought to my attention that we must recount
   the ballots.

*********************************************************

Here is last week's exercise:

1. This is the (finer, finest) piece of manuscripts I
   could find.
2. Of the two open positions, you have chosen the (more,
   most) promising.
3. I like Joe's plan (better, best) than Harry's or Mary's.
4. Next year we hope to do a (more complete, completer)
   study of the problem.

The correct answers are:

1. This is the finest piece of manuscripts I could find.
2. Of the two open positions, you have chosen the more
   promising.
3. I like Joe's plan better than Harry's or Mary's.
4. Next year we hope to do a more complete study of the
   problem.





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Tip #137:  Be careful of mixed constructions or sentences that
contain grammatical forms not consistent with one another.  Here is
an example.

   Incorrect:  The navigator lowered the landing gear
               and is approaching the runway. 
   Corrected:  The navigator lowered the landing gear
               and approached the runway.

*********************************************************

Try to correct the following mixed constructions:

1. The instructor should take care in choosing
   your equipment.
2. I will check your status report, and then it
   will be returned to you.
3. Harry's boat, though not as fast as the others,
   operate on regular gas.

*********************************************************

Here are last week's exercises:

Rewrite the following sentences with stronger introductory phrases:

1. There is difficulty with receiving our payments
   on time.
2. I would hope that dividends will not be paid late.
3. It appears that we do not have a winner.
4. It has been brought to my attention that we must
   recount the ballots.

Here are some suggestions; however, you may have other suggestions:
1. We have difficulty receiving our payments on time.
2. I hope dividends will not be paid late.
3. We do not have a winner.
4. We must recount the ballots.

*********************************************************

Please note the following change for Tip # 136.  Sentence # 1 should
have been written with the word "manuscript," not "manuscripts."  
"This is the finest piece of manuscript I could find."  Thanks to my
readers for pointing this out.





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Tip #138: Try not to use the word "but" too often. When you write
"but," it sounds like you are saying you disagree. Instead, try
using the word "and." For example:

Sounds like you disagree:
"I understand your message, but I would like to
give it more thought."

Sounds more positive:
"I understand your message, and I will give it
more thought."

*********************************************************

Please rewrite the following 24-word sentence. Use eight or fewer
words without changing the meaning:

Should the supply of manuals sent you not be sufficient to meet your
requirements, application should be made to this office for
additional copies.

*********************************************************

Here is last week's exercise:
Try to correct the following mixed constructions:

1. The instructor should take care in choosing your
equipment.
2. I will check your status report, and then it will
be returned to you.
3. Harry's boat, though not as fast as the others,
operate on regular gas.

Here are my suggestions:

1. The instructor should take care in choosing his/her
equipment.
2. I will check your status report and return it to you.
3. Harry's boat, though not as fast as the others,
operates on regular gas.





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Tip #139:  Avoid using cliches or stale expressions in your writing.
 They are wordy and often vague.  For example, "quick as a flash,"
"as plain as day," and "last but not least" can be rewritten as
"quickly," "clearly," and "finally."

*********************************************************

Change the following cliches into more direct expressions:

   Straight from the shoulder:

   Abreast of the times:

*********************************************************

Here is last week's exercise. Please rewrite the following 24-word
sentence.  Use eight or fewer words without changing the meaning:

Should the supply of manuals sent you not be sufficient to meet your
requirements, application should be made to this office for
additional copies.

  My suggestion: 
  If you want more manuals, ask for them.



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Tip # 140:  Use the present tense of a verb to express an idea that
continues to be true. 

  For example: 
   1) What did you say your name is ( not was)? 
   2) He told me that he doesn't (not didn't) like
      this brand.

*********************************************************

Choose the correct verb:

1. He said his manager, whom we just met, (is, was)
   of German parentage.
2. What (is, was) the name of the salesperson who
   just left?
3. His secretary has misplaced the letter that
   Mr. Smith (dictates, dictated).
4. She has not mailed the letter she (writes, wrote).

*********************************************************

This was last week's exercise:  Change the following cliches into
more direct expressions:

  Straight from the shoulder:
  Abreast of the times:

Here are my suggestions:

  Straight from the shoulder (frank or honestly)
  Abreast of the times (current, up to date)




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