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Monday, 28 February 2011

Effective Business Writing by Patric Forsyth

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Patrick Forsyth runs Touchstone Training and Consultancy, which advises on marketing, management and communication skills. An established author he has written many successful business books including Successful Time Management, How to Motivate People and The PowerPoint Detox. Numerous translations of his titles have appeared around the world.

Effective Business Writing is arranged into seven chapters. The book is not all theory but contains a lot of light hearted stuff to highlight the mishaps that could be caused by faulty communication. Here are a few extracts from the book:

1.In the interest of security please ensure that your door is fully closed firmly before entering or leaving your room – sign on the inside of a hotel room doors – and a good trick if you can do it.

2.A superfluous sign on a motorway "This sign is not in use"

3.Notice in the bathroom of a hotel in Portugal "Please ensure that mat is affixed firmly to bottom before entering shower"

4.Try describing to someone over the telephone, how to, say, tie a shoelace.

5.I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork – Peter De Vries.

6.An environment agency recently announced that it had "helped to make our environment a safer place by managing a UK scheme to dispose of surplus radioactive sources in schools, museums and hospitals"

7."There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are" – Somerset Maugham.

8.A cookbook which says "To stop your eyes watering when chopping onions, put them in the freezer"

9.A cooker advertisement says "Neff Circosteam doesn't have complicated functions – just simple one touch controls, including 52 cooking programmes" (and that's simple?)

10.One pack of pills suggests that you "swallow with glass full of water". A glassful is less likely to stick in your throat.

11."All the words I use – can be found in a dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences" – Somerset Maugham.

12.Some sentences can cause problems of contradictions "I never make predictions; and I never will"

13.Words are chameleons, which reflect the color of their environment.

14.What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure – Samuel Johnson.

15.I am a bear of very little brain, and long words bother me – AA Milne, Winnie the Pooh.

16.Seen in a lift "Only use the buttons provided".

17.Who decided that we should switch off a computer by clicking on "Start"?


Effective Business Writing by Patrick Forsyth is a must read for improving your writing skills.

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Banglaore, Karnataka, India