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Saturday, January 19, 2013

8 Keys To Better Business Writing | Susan Adams, Forbes

Update, Jan 20, 2012: I downloaded Garner's new book to my Kindle today. And I was delighted to discover that it's even better than the impression I got about it from the column by Susan Adams.

Bryan A. Garner, author of the widely respected Garner's Modern American Usage, has published a new book with the Harvard Business Review Press: HBR Guide to Better Business Writing. Garner's book on usage is the only contemporary equivalent of the usage guides first published long ago by Fowler and Follett.

And because of Garner's excellent advice in that reference book and others, I plan to check out his new book. Meanwhile, I liked what I read about it in Adams' column.

She writes:
[T]his concise, fluidly presented new book ... offers help for those who have fallen into the trap of turgid, jargon-filled business writing. The book gives direct, clear instruction on how to hone your business writing and help purge your prose of the cliched jargon on display in the paragraph above. The book is lean at 200 pages.
She continues by summarizing the book into eight points, under these headings:
  1. Know why you’re writing.
  2. Understand your readers.
  3. Write your first draft quickly.
  4. Revise and edit.
  5. Be relentlessly clear.
  6. Don’t waste words.
  7. Never use business-speak.
  8. Relax and find the right tone.
Adams' column is featured today, Jan. 19, in my daily online papers, Garbl's Style: Write Choices and Garbl's Plain English Paragraphs, available at the Editorial Style and Plain Language tabs above and by free email subscription.

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