Prepositions are words that show the relationship of nouns and pronouns with the other words in a sentence. Some examples ofprepositions are in, on, of, by, with, to, into, between, up, off, between, to and for. Sometimes, prepositions are unnecessary and can be easily removed. Examples Poor: Where is she at? Better: Where is she? Poor: The shift is now over with. Better: The shift is now over. […]
About Jane Watson
Jane Watson may be part of a rare breed. She enjoys grammar and business writing, and is Canada’s grammar guru. She delights in keeping people up to date in what is happening with the English language and with North American business writing style. Jane’s free, weekly electronic business tip (BizWritingTip) on writing styles, business emails, grammar, or word choice is available to anyone who wishes to receive it.
Jane has also written The Minute Takers Handbook (available at www.csae.com) and Business Writing Basics (published by Self-Counsel Press). Business Writing Basics has also been translated into Mandarin and Chinese.
Jane conducts writing courses for both the public and private sector. If you are interested in having Jane work with your organization, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Entries by Jane Watson
Emails in the workplace can be irritating. They are either too long or too abrupt. Blaise Pascal, the mathematician, once said, “I made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it short.” I think today you can easily substitute the word “email” for “letter.” Too many writers have a knee […]
PowerPoint is a wonderful tool. But like many things, it can be overused. I use PowerPoint in my writing workshops that usually have a minimum of 20 people. And I generally follow the standard guideline of no more than six words across the line and no more than six lines to a slide. My font […]
At a recent workshop, one of the participants had a hard time with the idea of brevity. He had been told by his manager that his reports were too short. Therefore, he was looking for tips on how to pad his sentences with extra words. I read over some of the documents he brought and […]
Why do some people – even though they have gotten great marks in their essays in school – have difficulty when writing in the business world? They may not realize a major factor: There are many different writing styles, e.g., academic, business, legal, literary, technical, and scientific. Each style has its own audience, purpose, and […]
Although they may not like it, people are now aware that nothing remains the same. Everything changes. That’s why I find it amazing when some people appear stunned to hear grammar rules and writing styles change. But why shouldn’t they? Grammar and writing style rules were invented to meet a specific need. When the need […]
Marina’s question: “When do I use ‘I’ in a document and when do I use ‘we’? Are they interchangeable?” BizWritingTip blog response: First of all, yes, you can use both I and we in the same business document. Years ago, you were only supposed to use “we.” Nowadays, I means you personally. We refers to everyone who works for your organization. Examples If you […]
Colin’s question: “Can the words ‘amount’ and ‘number’ be interchanged? I have seen ‘the amount of people’ and the ‘number of people.’ Which is correct?” BizWritingTip response: These words are not interchangeable. Use “amount” for money and for things that cannot be counted. Examples They received a large amount of money for that idea. The […]
I have been out of the country for the past month and am still working my way through my emails. However, I am surprised at the number of readers who commented on the BizWritingTip regarding “texted” becoming a verb. They felt that the sentence “My daughter told my wife and me …” was grammatically incorrect. It should […]
John’s question: “A colleague and I are having a dispute. Is there ever a time when you can use the word ‘effect’ as a verb?” BizWritingTip response: Normally, effect is a noun meaning “result” or “consequence.” Examples (correct) What effect (result) will the holiday schedule have on staffing? We need to assess the effects (consequences) […]