Our blog explores all aspects of writing and proofreading, and passes along effective business writing tips. Do you have questions or concerns about workplace writing? Then join our discussion!
Even the best writers make mistakes. It’s part of the writing process. To discover your errors, read everything you write out loud. You will “hear” the mistakes. And read everything you write from your audience’s point of view; this is often difficult to do (because it’s hard to gauge what your audience knows and doesn’t know about your topic), but practice makes perfect.
Coalesce means to grow together, unite into a whole, join forces.
“Keith hoped his new team would coalesce around the goal of providing superior support to their biggest customer.”
Deprecate means to express disapproval of something.
For example, “Because no one on the sales team reached their goals, Keith deprecated their efforts in his quarterly report.”
Perfunctory means characterized by routine: mechanical; lacking interest or enthusiasm.
For example, “The CEO felt that Keith’s response to the sales rally was perfunctory and, therefore, that he wasn’t a team player.”
Intersperse means to insert something at intervals among other things.
For example, “Keith opted to intersperse the good news with the bad news about the branch closings.”
Laudable means worthy of praise, commendable.
For example, “While the intern’s report was poorly written, Keith felt it was a laudable attempt.”
When corresponding with customers and executives, keep it professional. Professional writing is formal—no clipped sentences, no jokes, no slang, etc.—yet has a friendly, conversational tone. To achieve a professional, friendly tone, role play as a journalist for a high-end publication while writing. Think of your business document as more of an article in The Wall Street Journal.
Nebbish means a timid, weak or ineffectual person.
For example, “Keith considered his boss’ cousin a nebbish and would never have hired him.”
Empirical means an opinion or fact based on something you observed or experienced rather than on theory or logic.
For example, “Keith wanted the company’s annual report to be supported with empirical evidence whenever possible.”
Kakistocracy means a country or society governed by its least competent citizens.
For example, “Keith took heart when he discovered the low number of kakistocracies in the world.”