electronic translators, electrical exam prep, scanners, spy gadgets, dvr, hidden cameras, weather radios
Bookmark and Share
Products Articles  Book Reviews  Brainpower Newsletter Contact Us      Home  Search

Writing Tips: 641 - 650

Use your browser's Find function to look for tips that apply to your particular situation.

These tips provided by: http://www.basic-learning.com

Books on writing.

Tools to help you include Bull's Eye Business Writing (a self-paced workbook) and How To Improve Your Business Reading Skills (also on CD-ROM)--all from Basic Learning Systems, Inc. 888-204-3600 * See our Web site at http://www.basic-learning.com

Tip #641: State abbreviations/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 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 would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 
Tip #642: Letter writing

Malcom Forbes, former Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Magazine, wrote some advice about letter writing based on what he had learned over the years.

1. Know what you want and say it in the first paragraph. ”I want a refund within the next two weeks.”

2. Call the reader by name, not “Dear Sir, Madam, or Ms.” Use the person’s name, such as “Dear Mr. Chrisanthamum,” and be sure to spell it correctly.

3. Write the letter from the reader’s point of view. Be nice, be positive, be natural. Imagine the reader sitting in front of you. What would you say to him or her? Get rid of jargon.

4. Be specific. You could tell the reader that a new revision was made. But if you tell the reader “The new revision of HRFM-006 has been implemented,” now you have something concrete.

5. Keep your letters short: 75-100 words in length (or one page).




If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

Tip #643: Confusing pairs

Take care not to get the following words confused:

Fourth - an ordinal number
Forth - forward

Precede - to come before
Proceed - to go forward

Palate - the roof of the mouth
Palette - an artist's board for mixing paints

Spellcheck cannot always be depended upon to discover the error. For example, if you write, "The CFO's birthday is on the forth of the month," the red line that indicates a spelling error will not show up because the word "forth" is not misspelled. "Forth," however, is not the correct word to use; "fourth" is.



If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Tip #644: Be specific

Practice being specific and use terms your reader can picture when you describe someone or something. Avoid using vague language. Here is an example:

Vague: He is associated in various teaching capacities with several local educational institutions.
Specific: He teaches copyediting at Florida State University and technical writing at the University of Georgia.





If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Tip #645: Brackets

Brackets are used primarily with quotes.

1. Use brackets around the letters sic when pointing to a typo in a quote. [Sic] signifies that the mistake is not yours but appeared in the original. For example: The letter clearly stated that "the shipment would be hear [sic] on January 24."
2. Use brackets to add a word or part of a word to make the quote fit better into your sentence. For example: I agree with Mr. Marshall's idea of "add[ing] excellent customer service" to what this company already has to offer.
3. Use brackets to provide clarification within a quote. For example: According to the announcement, "the meeting has been called to address a [former] employee's behavior."

If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Tip #646: The word "very"


Whenever possible, make your writing more interesting by eliminating the word "very" and converting the adjective it modifies to a stronger adjective.

For example: instead of "very small," use "tiny," "puny," or "compact."



If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Tip #647: Made up words


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.



If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Tip #648: Slang


Although slang has its appeal, it is important for your writing to be geared toward a broad audience. Slang is an informal type of communication and might not be understood by all readers.

The slang that teenagers use changes every few years. For example, what was groovy in the 60's, was cool in the 70's, and awesome in the 80's, is straight or ill in today's world. Therefore, keep it simple and avoid both slang words and expressions in written work and communication.




If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Tip #649: Exclamation points and quotations


If an entire sentence is an exclamation and the ending words are exact words spoken, place the exclamation mark after the quotations. Example: I was shocked when my co-worker smugly said, "No way"!

If only the quotation is an exclamation, place the exclamation mark before the quotation marks. Example: I believe she's the person who yelled, "Fire!".




If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Tip #650: There's and here's


The words "there's" and "here's" are often used incorrectly. "There's" means "there is" and "here's" means "here is." Use these words with singular nouns. Use "there are" or "here are" with plural nouns.

 

Quiz


1. I said to my supervisor, "(Here's/Here are) the updated reports."
2. (There's/There are) several Indian restaurants in the city.
3. (Here's/Here are) today's newspaper.
4. I suspect that (there's/there are) a security leak.



Vocabulary Word of the Week


Wunderkind [VOON-der-kind] (noun): one who achieves success or acclaim, especially in business, at an early age. Example: Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, was a wunderkind when he started Facebook at the age of 19.



Quotation of the Week

The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time. ~ Abraham Lincoln



Quiz Answers


1. I said to my supervisor, "Here are the updated reports."
2. There are several Indian restaurants in the city.
3. Here's today's newspaper.
4. I suspect that there's a security leak.



If you would like to receive the FREE weekly tips by e-mail, contact tips@basic-learning.com and write "Sign Me Up" in the subject line.

http://www.basic-learning.com

 

Writing Quicklinks

Writing tips:
101 - 110 | 111 - 120 | 121 - 130 | 131 - 140 | 141 - 150
151 - 160 | 161 - 170 | 171 - 180 | 181 - 190 | 191 - 200
200-210
| 212-220 | 221-230 | 231 - 240 | 241 - 250
251 - 260
| 261 - 270 | 271 - 280 | 281 - 290 | 291 - 300
300 - 310

441 -450 | 451 - 460 | 461 - 470 | 471 - 480 | 481 - 490 | 491 - 500
501 - 510 | 511 - 520 | 521 - 530 | 531 - 540 | 541 - 550
551 - 560 | 561 - 570 | 571 - 580 | 581 - 590 | 591 - 600
600-610 | 611-620 | 621 - 630 | 631 - 640 | 641 - 650 | 651 - 660
671 - 680 | 681 - 690 | 691 - 700 | 701 - 710

Writing for Trade Publications | Active Voice | http://www.atozwriting.com


To turbocharge your own writing skills, visit http://www.basic-learning.com

Articles | Book Reviews | Free eNL | Products

Contact Us | Home

This material, copyright Mindconnection. Don't make all of your communication electronic. Hug somebody!