June 1
June 2015  
UpWrite Press Writing eTips

Test Your Writing Acumen

Do you ever have to stop and think if you should double a letter at the end of a word when adding a suffix? Doubling a final consonant is usually a concern when it is preceded by a single vowel. Check your knowledge by selecting the correct spelling of the words in parentheses in the following sentences.

  1. Gina (prefer + ed) to manage the project from her home office.
  2. The decorator declared a (prefer + ence) for modern furniture.
  3. The new company gym will encourage employee (fit + ness).
  4. The squirrel was (rob + ing) our bird feeder.
  5. There is a (refer + ence) to that in the employee manual.
  6. Hal has been (dream + ing) of just such an opportunity.
  7. Ron (turn + ed) left into the parking garage.

You can check your answers at the end of this newsletter, where you will also find some rules to help you remember when to double the final letter of a word.

Effectively Filling Out Forms

Forms are a common part of business, and filling them out correctly can save time and trouble in the long run. Here are some tips to help.

  • Read all directions first. Does the entire form apply to your circumstances, or only specific portions of it? Does it require a detailed description of events or procedures, or does it need only a summarized list? Are specific times or costs required? Is there a place to note attached pages and their number?
  • Use accurate identifying material. Double-check any dates, times, and contact numbers you enter, especially if in a separate heading. If routing numbers or location IDs are required, be sure they are correctly entered. A bit of caution now can save a lot of headache later.
  • Complete each required field. Don’t leave anything blank, including areas that require only a check mark. If necessary information is not available or not applicable, note that in the proper space.
  • Be neat and clear. If the form is filled out by hand, use blue or black ink (avoid pencil, which can smudge). Make sure all information is legible.
  • Double-check a final time for accuracy. Are all facts verifiable and supportable? Is every section as complete as possible?
  • Sign where required. This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many signatures are forgotten, costing time and causing embarrassment.

One helpful way to assure a neat, error-free form is to compose replies in a separate draft before actually filling out the form. This is especially helpful for sections where a more detailed entry is required, such as in job applications or accident reports.

You can find more on creating an effective visual presentation beginning on page 141 in Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing and Communicating in the Workplace.

Trainer Tips

For your employees to get the most from training, it's important to establish what you want them to accomplish. Decide beforehand on specific goals, avoiding generalized aims. Share your desired outcomes with trainees, so they also know what they are expected to learn. With a clear target, training will be best focused.

That Little Extra

Whenever you receive customer comments, whether in hard copy or online, it's generally best to respond with a friendly, casual style. Stiff, formal language can create an off-putting sense of monolithic, impersonal bureaucracy. By contrast, a personable tone and genuine interest in customers encourages further business.

June Writers’ Forum Topic

Here’s your chance to tell us how your work environment operates. Send us your responses to the forum question below, and we’ll print the most interesting in our eTips Mid-Month Mini.

It seems we all have a common error or two that crop up in our writing, especially when we're rushed. What tactics do you use to catch and correct your own?

Email your response to contact@upwritepress.com. Write “June Writers’ Forum” in the subject line, and you could see your reply in the eTips Mid-Month Mini.

Answers to This Month’s Quiz

  1. Gina preferred to manage the project from her home office.
    Double the final consonant in a longer word when the last syllable is stressed and the suffix begins with a vowel.
  2. The decorator declared a preference for modern furniture.
    Do not double the final consonant when the last syllable is not stressed and the suffix begins with a vowel,
  3. The new company gym will encourage employee fitness.
    Do not double the final consonant when adding a suffix that begins with a consonant.
  4. The squirrel was robbing our bird feeder.
    Double the final consonant when it is preceded by a single vowel. This also keeps the vowel short.
  5. There is a reference to that in the employee manual.
    Do not double a final consonant when adding a suffix that begins with a vowel when the addition causes the accent in the word to shift.
  6. Hal has been dreaming of just such an opportunity.
    Do not double a final consonant that is preceded by two vowels when adding a suffix that begins with a vowel.
  7. Ron turned left into the parking garage.
    Do not double the final consonant if it is preceded by another consonant, whether the suffix begins with a vowel or a consonant.

We Want to Hear from You!

This is your chance to be part of the UpWrite Press newsletters and blogs. What writing topics do you want to hear about? Have you any favorite communications tips you’d like to share? What words do you constantly mix up? Send us your ideas and you could see your name in Writing eTips or the Mid-Month Mini.

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Making Your Written Words Sound Professional

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