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How to Build a Great Sentence NECA Women’s Peer Group Summit Pittsburg, PA By Maria Granone Chapter Manager New Mexico Chapter May 12, 2011
The Quick Fix Words to Avoid When You Write Am, Are Be, Being,Been Is, Was that
The Art of the Written Word Great writing begins – and ends – with the written sentence. Sentences have the power to captivate, entertain, motivate, educate and most importantly, inform. How you write a sentence can also cause confusion.
E Prime As A Way to Write What is E Prime? A modified form of English used to eliminate the verb “to be” and avoid the passive voice. It tends to eliminate confusion in the writer’s thinking, forces the writer to think about the ideas to convey and eliminates the likelihood of misunderstanding and conflict. Difficult to implement but well worth the result.
Confusion Caused By The VerbTO BE • I am depressed • Who am I? • He is a criminal • It is clear that we should take action • ‘Is’ and ‘are’ imply no time, no space and absolute truth. • They imply things are: • Permanent • Always true • Unchanging • Look, sound, feel smell, etc. the same to everyone. • Final
I am depressed. Abbreviates what happened in the past. Maybe it means: I felt sad on many occasions in the past and I feel sad now. (ePrime) He is a criminal. Implies that he does, always did, always will do some unstated bad thing. We confuse what we know about the word with the person. It could mean: During his teenage years, he stole one thing for a dare and has regretted it ever since. (ePrime) It is clear that we should take action. “Clear to Whom.” “What is clear?” It appears to me we should take action. (ePrime)
I am going to the meeting. I plan to attend the NWPG meeting in Pittsburg. They are working on the presentation. Marilyn and Rose worked on the presentation today. The weather is good. Pittsburg residents expect a sunny day on Thursday. We have been planning this meeting for a long time. We began to plan this meeting last year in November. There was a great interest in attending this meeting. The interest to attend this meeting increased with NECA’s email blasts. It will be 10:00 pm in five minutes. In five minutes, we will have only two hours until midnight. He stated that he hired the account executive. He told me he hired the account executive. I was working toward the resolution of that problem. I worked on resolving the problem.
Why Should We Consider Using E-Prime? Removes useless self-talk I am They are It is I have been I was I will be Minimizes using meaningless ‘to be’ abbreviations. “This is why…” Eliminates the passive voice. Makes the statement clearer by identifying the agent.
Punctuation With the use of cell phone text messaging, have we forgotten the use of punctuation? “Punctuation marks are the traffic signals of language: they tell us to slow down, notice this, take a detour, or stop.” Eats Shoots and Leaves – Why commas really do make a difference by Lynne Truss
The Difference a Comma Makes Slow, children crossing. Slow children crossing. Everyday, Anthony turns, slides and swings. Every day, Anthony turns slides and swings. Becky teased the boy with the fluffy duck. Becky teased the boy, with the fluffy duck. Eat here, and get gas. Eat here and get gas. Eats Shoots and Leaves
Say What You MeanDon’t ApologizeFor a Difficult Message In business, the difficulty to state exactly what you mean increases when you lack time to think about what you want to say. “This letter requests payment of NMADC fund monies of $100 due from the January 15, 2011 report.” “I do apologize that this comes after the work performed, but I am sure you realize my position that these dues should have been paid then, and thanks to my investigation, we can redress the original error with payment of them now. Please call me if you have any further questions.”
I Think. . . “I think that because the economy is down and many people have cut their budgets, we have sat down with the different department to define a plan to implement the projects which have a lower budget impact on the organization and we can implement on July 2, 2011.” “We met with the different departments, discussed the budget shortfalls and identified the programs with an implementation date of Jul 1, 2011.”
Back to Basics • The recipient of your message can misinterpret the tone of your message. • Have some one review your draft. • What you say and how a person interprets it may result in two different messages. Say “please” and “thank you”.
Contact Information Maria Granone Albuquerque, NM firstname.lastname@example.org (505) 883-6677 New Mexico Chapter