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Category Archives: Business writing

Let’s all be a bit more positive

Positive sentences are shorter and easier to understand if we replace a negative phrase (like phrases with ‘not’) with a single word that means the same thing.

So instead of writing ‘not able’, write ‘unable’. Or instead of ‘not often’, write ‘rarely’. Or ‘not unlike’, write ‘similar’.


Financially speaking

Have you ever seen the abbreviation p.a.? As in the sentence: Sales increased by 5 per cent p.a. The abbreviation p.a. is short for per annum and is a Latin phrase meaning per year. You might know that I’m not a big lover of abbreviations, as I find they can often confuse people. I’d ratherContinue Reading

Salu … What?

After the salutation (or greeting) in a letter or email, we always start our text with a capital letter. It looks like this … Dear Michael (with or without a comma here) Many thanks for …. It’s different in German. Perhaps that’s why so many people don’t do it! 😉

Let’s be a bit more positive

Replace a negative phrase (a phrase with not) with just one word to make your sentences shorter and easier to understand. So instead of writing: We were not able to …, write: We were unable to …. Instead of writing: We are not certain if …, write: We are uncertain if …

Adding a personal touch

Imagine you want someone to do something. You might be surprised to hear that one of the best ways is to add a personal touch to your message and to make them feel as if you’re asking a favour of them. Read about how you can use sticky notes to add that personal touch here (linkContinue Reading

Improving our business email

This article on writing better business email messages has a few good tips for us all. It’s good to be reminded now and again to keep our messages short, isn’t it? I particularly like the idea of creating a template to save time. Is it something that you already do?

Getting ready for the holidays

Before you go off on your summer holidays, you might like to think about what kind of out-of-office message you’d like to set up. You’ll find six templates here (link to: themuse.com). Are you looking for something simple? Or are you prepared to have a little bit of fun? I think the first message looksContinue Reading

A tool which checks whether your documents are easy to read

Are your email messages and other documents easy to read? All you need to do is to go to this site here (link to: readable.io). Paste your text into the box on the left. Click “Measure Readability”, and on the right, you’ll see a collection of statistics and scores.  

Perhaps the most important punctuation mark?

The British term for this punctuation mark here (.) is full stop. In American English it’s called period. If you’d like to check whether you’re using it correctly, take a look here (link to: en.oxforddictionaries.com).

How to use inverted commas correctly

Inverted commas are also known as quotation marks, speech marks or just quotes. They can be single – ‘name’ or double – “name”. Read how to use them correctly here (link to: en.oxforddictionaries.com).