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Category Archives: Business writing

Amazing!

Exclamation marks

Originally the exclamation mark (that’s this mark here: !) was used for an actual exclamation, like ‘My goodness!’. Today it tends to be overused. So be careful.

You might like to limit yourself to one or two exclamation marks in an email. You don’t want to make your writing look unprofessional, do you?

Just say ‘thank you’

“With reference to …” is rather old-fashioned. I remember using the phrase years ago. Have you read it before? Do you use it? Such as in: “With reference to your letter …”. My recommendation? Just say “thank you”. Something like: “Thank you for your letter”. Or “Thank you for contacting us.” Instead of writing: “With reference to our meetingContinue Reading

Kind regards

Do you use the same words again and again when closing an email? Why not be a little bit more creative? A lot of people finish their email messages with “Regards”, “Kind regards” or “Best regards”. What about using the following now and again? Of course, they have to fit! Best wishes With thanks ThanksContinue Reading

Another style guide

I recommended The Economist’s style guide recently. The BBC News also has a guide online. It might help to take a look now and again. There’s always something new to learn.

Working on your writing skills?

Connect with English speakers via Facebook to practise your writing skills. Use an online style guide if you need some writing tips. And use online tools to help you improve the readability of a text and also your grammar and spelling skills. Try these here: A style guide like The Economist. Skillswise has short videos withContinue Reading

How to write to an adult female

In the past, we used Miss (+ surname) for an unmarried woman and Mrs (+ surname) for a married woman. But things have changed over the last few years. Today we use Ms (+ surname) – pronounced “Mizz” –  for all women – whatever their marital status. Of course, if you know someone’s marital statusContinue Reading

Man or woman?

You’re writing to someone, but don’t know if it’s a man or a woman. This is something I had several weeks ago. I actually googled the person’s name and found him and so knew how to address him correctly! But what if you can’t find the person? It’s quite acceptable to use the full name.Continue Reading

How to write the date

Dates can be written in various ways: 2017-08-29 29/08/2017 29th August, 2017 29th Aug. 2017 August 29th, 2017 I don’t like any of the above. I find them confusing. And we no longer need to write ‘st’, ‘rd’ or ‘th’ after the day. To make it as clear as possible, I suggest you write theContinue Reading

How do you proofread?

So you’re working on an important text that you’d like to send out via email. But, before you press that send button, stop – and proofread. How? Read every sentence out loud. Reread what you’ve just written at least twice. Print your text out and read it on paper (you’ll be surprised how that canContinue Reading

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’.