Written Business Letters
Please excuse the structure as the answers are more important to me.
"Shall," although more appropriate or correct is too weak or implies maybe (my opinion). I prefer - "Will" - however know it is deemed wrong. "Can" is very curt and crude (my opinion) and a problem as well.
I am attempting to eliminate long back-to-back meaningless words such as; so as to allow - but am unable to find a web site as reference.
The affect and effect problem is just that.
I use "Then" to express a time and "Than" as a comparison, is this correct?
How in general would I learn all the appropriate advanced forms of written expression, and enhance my written skills ?
Lastly the where-by, where-as, where-in, this or that - being, there-by - forms of speak keep me up at night, any suggestions?
Shall/will/can - In the US, many people don't use the word "shall" very often. I would use it in the context of asking what the other person (or business) would like me to do for them.
Shall I send the purchase order to Mary rather than Fred? (Many people will replace "shall" with "should.") The words "will" and "can" actually do mean two different things and both are appropriate in a business letter when used properly. "Will" asks if the other party is willing to do something. "Can" asks if they are able. Will you provide an manual with the product? Can you ship the order by Friday?
Words such as “so as to allow” are not necessarily meaningless. But run-on sentences usually feel like they have a lot of meaningless words. When I am in doubt, I sometimes break it down into very simple sentences to find the actual meaning. Looking at both the complicated and wordy sentence next to the over-simplified one can help you discover a happy medium – a sentence that has more clarity.
Affect/effect – Affect is usually a verb meaning to influence. Effect is a noun, which is the result of something. The pitcher’s great skill affected the batter’s ability to get a good hit. The effect was a strike out.
Then/than – yes, you are correct!!
Whereby/whereas/wherein – these are all single words that do not have a hyphen. Most people leave these words for the lawyers or in a business (legal) document, rather than a business letter. There are many ways one can get the same point across slightly less formally, but still business-like.
My only advice for increased learning & skill regarding the written word is to read and practice writing. Lots of reading and writing.
|link comment||answered Nov 14 '11 at 05:52 Patty T Grammarly Fellow|
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