What is wrong with your English? It’s certainly not grammar!

By October 30, 2018Blog

Let’s pay close attention to an email here from Mr Khanna.



Dear Mr. Khanna,

I am writing this letter to inform you about that the laptop at the company’s office has started malfunctioning

Please be informed that as you already know, our firm’s work is completely dependent on the laptop as we have to deal with overseas customers over internet . The laptop that is currently in use is obsolete and it is not compatible with the latest graphics and software programmes. Furthermore, a few keys of the keyboard have stopped functioning.

In addition to this the CD Drive is not working. Due to these problems, office work has become herculean task.

In view of the above, I suggest it would be a good idea if you could buy a new laptop. I am concerned that if a new laptop cannot be bought within a few days, our organization will bear a heavy loss.

Please try to look into this matter as soon as possible.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time and support.

Yours sincerely,
Akshay


What do you think is so wrong with the above written piece. Is it grammar?  Seems like that. But the problem here is not Grammar. It has too many words – some irrelevant, some redundant !

What goes wrong when writing is not to the point

  1. It is unnecessary long
  2. Overused adverbs and adjectives
  3. Wrong Choice of words  

Was there really a Grammar Issue?

The writer may be aware of Grammar issue and the writing may be grammar free, yet the writing is far from being error free.

The problem is, the more it gets verbose, the more the sentences are filled with unnecessary words, higher are the chances of mistakes.

What is concise writing ?

Concise writing is when you writing is brief, using the fewest words possible to clearly convey your idea . Clear and concise writing is effective because it is easily comprehensible.

The perils of not writing concise are many..

  1. Unforced Grammatical Errors
  2. The reader’s attention is lost
  3. The writing is not effective
  4. The meaning is not conveyed
  5. Not easily scannable in various devices , phone or iPad
  6. Difficult to consume
  7. Not engaging enough

How to write concisely ?

 

Choose your words deliberately & thoughtfully

Words are powerful.  For ex – “He improved over time” sounds better than “He got better with time”

Replace a phrase with a word

 

                                  

 

Use a Positive Tone

 

                                   

Eliminate redundant pairs

 

Words like – Return back, Each and Every, Add and Combine.

 

                              

 

Use simple words wherever possible.

 

For ex – Instead of fabricate- build . Instead of transmit-send.

 

Replace vague words with specific ones – vague sentences with specific statements

 

For ex – the ball fell 10 or 12 feet away from me is vague. The ball fell 10 feet away from me.

Or

All the stuff in his speech about Labor Rights did not make sense..

 

Eliminate unnecessary words.

 

Which sentence do you think sounds better?

I received and read the email you sent yesterday about the report you’re writing for the project. I agree it needs a thorough, close edit from someone who has an understanding of the audience and their expectations.

OR

I received your email about the project report and agree it needs an expert edit.

Pay attention to sentence length

 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote the first sentence below

We are endeavoring to construct a more inclusive society.

He then Revised it to this sentence.

We’re going to make a country in which no one is left out.

Some more techniques for crisp writing

  1. Have a deep understanding of the subject
  2. Have Strong Arguments
  3. Know your audience
  4. Imitate writers you admire.

Here are the explanations for mistakes from the example given at the beginning.


Dear Mr. Khanna,
I am writing this letter (redundant pair) to inform you about that the laptop at the company’s office (replaceable phrase) has started malfunctioning (replaceable phrase).
Please be informed that as you already know, (grammatically incorrect) our firm’s work is completely dependent on the laptop as we have to deal with overseas customers over internet (unnecessary information). The laptop that is currently in use (replaceable phrase) is obsolete and it is not compatible (replaceable phrase / change from negative to affirmative) with the latest graphics and software programmes. Furthermore, a few keys of the keyboard (unnecessary information) have stopped functioning (replaceable phrase). In addition to this the CD Drive is not working. Due to these problems (replaceable phrase), office work (redundant pair has become herculean task.
In view of the above, I suggest it would be a good idea ( unnecessary information) if you could buy a new laptop. I am concerned that if a new laptop cannot be bought within a few days (change to affirmative
, our organization will bear a heavy loss. Please try to look into this matter as soon as possible.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time and support.
Yours sincerely,
Akshay

 

Let us take a re-write the letter  “Concisely” and see for ourselves the impact the sentence has on the reader.

CONCISED LETTER: - 111 words
Dear Mr. Khanna,
I am writing to inform you that the company’s laptops are malfunctioning.
Our firm deals with overseas customers and thus, we are heavily dependent on laptops. The current laptops are obsolete and incompatible with the latest graphics and software programmes. A few keys and CD Drives too have become dysfunctional, making it a herculean task to work with them.
In view of the above, I suggest we buy new laptops, at the earliest, to avoid heavy losses to the organization. Request you to look into this matter as soon as possible.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time and support.
Yours sincerely,
Akshay

 

ufaber

Author ufaber

More posts by ufaber

Join the discussion One Comment

Leave a Reply