In this post, we’ll talk about some faults to avoid in writing business letters.
The fault to avoid at all costs in letter-writing is ambiguity. What you write should carry one interpretation only, and that it should be the interpretation you intended it to have.
Let’s get started!
1. Faulty Syntax
Faulty syntax is dangerous because it can distort the writer’s meaning. Have a look at the following sentence:
“We are sending you an antique clock by our Mr. Stark, with ornamental hands and engraved face.”
The placement of the comma in that sentence is very important. The phrase “with ornamental hands and engraved face” in that sentence refers to Mr. Stark because it’s placed after the name, separated by comma. That sentence is wrong because the phrase actually refers to the antique clock. This is the correct sentence:
“We are sending you, by our Mr. Stark, an antique clock, with ornamental hands and engraved face.”
That sentence is correct because the phrase is placed after “an antique clock”, separated by comma.
2. The double negative
The rule is of course that a double negative makes a positive, but in some instances a double negative is used where no positive is intended. For example, instead of writing:
“Neither of the three samples you send is the correct shade, and are of no interest to us.”
You should write:
“No one of the three samples you send is of the correct shade, or is of any interest to us.”
Nevertheless, avoid using a double negative.
3. Overdone superlatives
Giving compliments is good but don’t overdo it. Use only ONE of these: super, breath-taking, supreme, gigantic, exquisite, masterpiece, miraculous, stupendous, etc.
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