Business writing experience: worth a bit, or pile of sh*t?

small__4612873059People snigger, with justification, when you mention “experience” – largely because experience comes in two forms: e.g. 20 years’ real  experience? Or is it really 1 year’s experience repeated 19 times?”

This applies to blogging and writing for business every bit as much as it does to any other profession. For the purposes of this article/post (Artipost? Posticle?), other professions can deal with this as they want.

But how exactly does it affect writing for business blogs and other online content? [Read more…]

Mistakes in your business writing: are they a hanging offence?

If the “grammar police” get on your case because you’ve made a mistake in your business writing like putting an apostrophe in the wrong place or using the wrong derivative of a verb, should you cower in fear and correct every last little goof?

Or are there times when you can give such critics the finger and remind them that there are more important things in life than too many exclamation marks?

Mistakes in your business writing: are they a hanging offence?I probably shouldn’t say this as I am pro writer/author/editor, but just between ourselves … I think in our modern times we can get too pedantic about absolutely correct grammar, punctuation, spelling and so-on.

Like everyone else I shouted with laughter when reading Lynne Truss’s wonderful book, “Eats, Shoots and Leaves,” if for no other reason than the fact that she found so much humour in the whole issue and had her tongue firmly in her cheek while pulling up the grammar-perps for their evil crimes.

But there’s one very important distinction that drops out of all this, and that can been seen even in Truss’s book title:  the problem of ambiguity, and the consequent risk of people not understanding what you’re talking about – or worse, misinterpreting your words completely.

And much as the strict grammarians may sneer at me like I had just crawled up out of drain, I really think they should get over themselves and relax when people make mistakes that don’t affect the meaning of the words in question. Where we should do some more work, however, is in one or more of these circumstances:

  • When, as I mentioned, the mistake alters or obscures the meaning
  • When because of the mistake the whole sentence or paragraph doesn’t make sense
  • When it’s a very obvious mistake that everyone knows about, e.g. “its” vs “it’s,” “they’re” vs “their,” etc.
  • When the mistake is just about understandable but makes you look silly, e.g. “loose” vs “lose”
  • When the mistake is a typo that could get you into trouble, e.g. “shit” instead of “shot”

But what about spell checkers, grammar checkers and so-on?

What about them? I hate them, because although they pick up some mistakes they don’t cover everything and in some cases are wrong – or at least are based on one lot of English grammar rules (USA) when I’m trying to write in English English.

The bottom line is that these checkers should be regarded as irritating little reminders, but don’t trust them to correct everything. Good old-fashioned common sense of the human variety is far more reliable.

What do you think about being strict about correctness in your writing? Do you agree that we should be more relaxed about it, or do you think we should uphold the highest standards no matter what? I look forward to reading your views!

Stop those mistakes once and for all!

“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in English

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English

“English to English: the A to Z of British-American translations”…more than 2,000 business and social terms from the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

photo credit: andrewtoddphillips via photopin cc

Never be embarrassed by a business writing mistake again

If you sometimes slip up on grammar, spelling, punctuation and other small goofs that can make your business text look amateurish, this is exactly what you need:

The 30 Day Basic Business Writing Challenge

This is an all-encompassing guide to the basics in business writing – ideal for

  • Students
  • Job seekers
  • Non-native English speakers
  • Public sector workers
  • Corporate staffers
  • SME owners
  • Solo traders
  • …and more

It’s exactly what you need to make sure your business writing is as proficient and professional as you are.

You can either have the whole course in one, as a 130 page Kindle/eBook, or receive one “challenge” (like a lesson) per day for 30 days.

The 30 Day Basic Business Writing Challenge shows you how to make the most of your business writing and how to break rules where appropriate … while avoiding the key pitfalls that can make you look like a dork. For example:

  • Putting apostrophes in the wrong place … oh, so unprofessional!
  • Using clichés … makes you look out of touch
  • Jargon … some turns your readers right off
  • Me or I? … which do you use, when?
  • Overwriting … do you use a long word when a short one is better?
  • Slang … is it wrong? If not, why not?
  • Short sentences … will I be struck by lightning if I skip a verb

The eBook / eCourse costs just GBP £8.00 – USD $12.00.

Here’s that link again – http://www.30daychallenges.nikkipilkington.com/30day/30-day-basic-business-writing-challenge-ebook/

For more about the 30 Day Challenge series of eCourses/eBooks, check this out.

Business writing: everything you need to make it a pleasure – not a pain

Do you sometimes find writing for business a bit of struggle? Do you wish you could write good, concise emails and effective web and blog text quickly, without having to worry about it? Do you wish you could impress your colleagues and customers with your business writing skills? My 200-page book will help you, for just a few pounds or dollars – it’s called Business Writing Made Easy. 

Considering that around 99 percent of internet business is done via the written word (plus what we still need to do for printed business writing) getting your business writing right is more important than ever before.

Available on Amazon UKAmazon USA … or order now as an eBook for just $10.95, and I’ll email you your copy as soon as PayPal tell me your payment is in. (If there’s any delay, contact me on suze@suzanstmaur.com.)

 

In this practical how-to book I get you writing effectively, easily, and quickly. I show you how to…

  • Make sure your thinking is right, so what you write works first time
  • Polish your grammar, spelling and punctuation to perfection
  • Start your writing off on the right foot every time
  • Ensure everything you write gets the results you want
  • Harness PR skills to get you and your business noticed
  • Use pro advertising techniques to fire up your promotional writing
  • Write about yourself so readers know just how good you really are
  • Compose and write formal business documents with confidence
  • Prepare and present speeches that wow your audiences

This book is essential reading if you…

  • Need to write for your job or business
  • Use English as a second language for business
  • Run your own business
  • Are starting a business
  • Are looking for a new job
  • Blog for business or social purposes

This is what Ann Handley of the famous US marketing site, MarketingProfs, has to say about what you get in this book…“Suze is a messiah to businesses who want to engage, not bore, their customers, even if writing comes as a bit of a chore … she serves up the basics in a way that’s easy to digest and apply to your own work.” Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, www.MarketingProfs.com

Don’t delay – order your copy of Business Writing Made Easy today!

Available on Amazon UKAmazon USA … or order now as an eBook for just $10.95, and I’ll email you your copy as soon as PayPal tell me your payment is in. (If there’s any delay, contact me on suze@suzanstmaur.com.)

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