Dear Sir: Business Writing Basics

TypoOhNo

Say What

I worked at a media company a few years ago and had to review online business reviews for approval. The above review for a restaurant was rejected because it’s unintelligible; it doesn’t make a lick of sense. The author doesn’t communicate his grievances well. What was so “unperfessional” about having a 19-year-old “gurl” working there? And the misspellings are atrocious. Sadly, poor communication silenced this poor man’s voice.

Let’s give it a quick makeover:

I want a refund for my meal. Your business was very unprofessional the day that I visited, which was December 8, 2012.  The service was slow; it took nearly an hour for my shrimp pasta to come. And when it did come, it wasn’t very tasty and lukewarm. The waitress seemed indifferent, too. . .

How did I do that? It’s easy:

State your point initially and clearly. Tell the letter recipient up front what you want. Is it a refund or a credit or a replacement? Whatever you desire, don’t be afraid to jump right in before you go on to support your request or claim.

Details, please. This is what’s lacking in the review above. When I revised it, I mentioned the date, the wait time–nearly down to the minute–and what dish was ordered. Those minor differences brought major flair. Throwing in details or stats really adds credibility.

No text lingo. The author used “u” for “you.” This is no place for “text talk” if you want to be taken seriously. In other words, leave “LOL” and “OMG” for your iPhone and Smartphone.

Mind your spelling. I know that you are probably sick of my saying this but it’s crucial. Poor spelling can make a document downright painful to read. Thus, your writing will be ignored, laughed at or even trashed, like the above review.

Happy reading and writing, my friends!

Sean C. Wright is the author of the short stories Hazel Hogan and Devil Does Dallas. She is also an editor. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit http://www.iwrightaway.com/.

SpaghettiWords

Send me your typo images! Snap pictures and email them to msseanc@aol.com. They must be real pictures and not images in online links, as those might be doctored. I’m looking for the real McCoy. Conceal the company’s identity if possible. No sweat if you can’t. I’ll hide the name before I post it. We’re not looking to embarrass but to educate.

The Fat Finger Effect

TypoOhNo

TyposGalore

“Cleanig, coffe and doubke” should be “cleaning, coffee and double.” These mistakes were on solicitation items left on my door and car windshield.

Ah, The Fat Finger Effect. We know how to spell words but our fingers just don’t cooperate. They are not the worst of the worst but they can make a business lose professionalism points faster than a speeding bullet–especially if it’s a cleaning business like the first company. Their business is attention to detail and they just showed lack of attention to detail. Yikes!

The main cause of typo publication is rushing. The person typing was in a rush and the company was in a rush to get the advertising published. Here’s how to avoid The Fat Finger Effect:

Slow down. This is the most obvious tip but it’s easier said than done in this fast-paced world of nanoseconds. It’s a classic phrase but so true: haste makes waste.

Use spell check. Sadly, this tool would have caught all of the mistakes above.

Use a second pair of eyes. I have said this before. We all have blind spots to our own writing, thus we need someone who is not as close to the document to give it a good once-over. I’m sometimes very surprised at the mistakes others catch in my writing. It’s kind of embarrassing but it’s worth a little embarrassment then, instead of it being on a grand scale for hundreds to see later.

Happy reading and writing, my friends.

Sean C. Wright is the author of the short stories Hazel Hogan and Devil Does Dallas. She is also an editor. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–for business or consumer needs–visit http://www.iwrightaway.com/.

SpaghettiWords

Send me your typo images! Snap pictures and email them to msseanc@aol.com. They must be real pictures and not images in online links, as those might be doctored. I’m looking for the real McCoy. Try to conceal the company’s identity if possible. No sweat if you can’t. I’ll hide the name before I post it. We’re not looking to embarrass but to educate.

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Book Review: Do Over by Shannon Guymon

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Title: Do Over (2013)

Author: Shannon Guymon

Genre: Romance

Publisher: Cedar Fort Books

Do Over is the final installment in the Alpine series. It’s another Guymon novel that manages a perfect mix of romance, wit, humanity and fun. . .

Love has left a bitter taste in the mouths of main characters Iris and Trey. Iris has sworn off men and Trey has sworn off women. Iris drapes her wounded soul in studded black leather and biker boots. Trey’s relatives scheme and plot to get a woman in his life but he is ready for them with a plan of his own. Hence, Iris and Trey enter into an agreement and so begins the rollicking game of one-up manship and battle of the sexes.

The author has been my best friend since kindergarten so I may be biased in my review. But Do Over is clean, girly fun without being tainted with unnecessary erotica. You find yourself rooting for nearly everyone in the story. I like it and I think you will, too.

For more on author Shannon Guymon, visit www.shannonguymon.blogspot.com.

Happy reading and writing, my friends.

Sean C. Wright is the author of the short stories Hazel Hogan and Devil Does Dallas. She is also an editor. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit http://www.iwrightaway.com/.

SpaghettiWords