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!
Venal means corrupt, able to be bribed.
For example, “Though only a small number of politicians have been convicted of taking money, Keith believed that all politicians were venal.”
These two writing tips go hand-in-hand: “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” — Louis L’Amour, and “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” ― Jodi Picoult. They are good reminders that when you have writer’s block, and we all do from time to time, you should write something, anything! to get the juices flowing.
Adjudicate means to make an official decision about who is right in, for example, a dispute.
For example, “The CEO asked Keith to adjudicate the quarrel between HR and the maintenance staff.”
Myopic means nearsighted; lacking imagination or foresight.
For example, “Even the most myopic member of Keith’s staff could see that his suggestion that a 2% raise would solve the morale problem in the office was ludicrous.”
Valorous means acting with bravery or boldness, courageous.
For example, “Keith thought that his effort to implement a casual Friday dress code was a valorous act worthy of a letter of commendation.”
Impromptu means something done on the spur of the moment without being planned or rehearsed.
For example, “Keith’s new boss had a reputation for holding meetings which were often impromptu and unnecessary.”
Recalcitrant means to have an obstinate and uncooperative attitude toward authority.
For example, “Keith was upset with the recalcitrant website team that refused to implement his changes to the company website.”
1. “A sentence should never be cruel and unusual.” — William C. Burton, attorney
2. “I have made this letter longer that usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.” — Blaise Pascal, mathematician
3. “Clarity begins at home.” — Edie Schwager, speaker with the American Medical Writers Association
4. “The trouble with so many of us is that we underestimate the power of simplicity.” — Robert Stuberg, author and speaker
5. “I never write metropolis for seven cents when I can write city and get paid the same.” — Mark Twain, author
6. “When writing about science, don’t simplify the science; simplify the writing.” — Julie Ann Miller, former editor of Science News
7. “This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read.” — Winston Churchill, former British prime minister
8. “All good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. — Anne Lamott, author
9. “Good writing is clear thinking made visible.” — William Wheeler, journalist and author
10. “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne, author
Exculpate means to show or declare that someone is not guilty of wrongdoing.
For example, “The company’s lawyer exculpated Keith of any blame in the sales team’s attempt to defraud the company.”
Umbrage means a feeling of resentment after being slighted or insulted.
For example, “When the client mockingly inferred that Keith’s sales figures were inflated, he took umbrage at the remark, turned and walked away.”