Writing E-Tips
December 2004   
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"In a world of audio and visual marvels,
may words matter to you and be full of magic."

-- Godfrey Smith   

"We had the experience but missed the meaning."

-- T.S. Eliot   


Common Grammar Problems to Avoid

Using the Right Word, Part I

     One of the most embarrassing faux pas in writing is using the wrong word. These errors are easily missed by spell-checkers, so proofread carefully for the following commonly confused words.

AID, AIDE
The verb aid means "help."

Please aid any team members who are having problems.

When used as a noun, aid means "the help given."

They will gratefully appreciate your aid.

An aide is an "assistant."

I asked my aide to handle the situation.

ALLUDE, ELUDE, REFER
Allude means to "indirectly refer to something without specifically mentioning it."

If you allude to a rule in a memo, be sure it is one your recipient is familiar with.

Elude means "escape understanding."

Otherwise, the meaning of your memo will completely elude the reader.

Refer means to "specifically relate" to something.

When you refer to the building project, be sure to specify the timeline involved.

ANXIOUS, EAGER
Anxious suggests one is "worried."

He is anxious about the possible results of the loan application.

Eager implies one is "happily anticipating" something.

We are eager to break ground on the project.

APPRAISE, APPRISE
Appraise means "estimate something’s worth."

Our office manager will appraise the idea and make her suggestions.

Apprise means "inform."

We have been apprised of the situation and will handle it immediately.

AUGMENT, SUPPLEMENT
Augment means "increase in size or degree."

Two new workers have been hired to augment the accounting department.

Supplement means "add to something that was deficient."

The new grant is needed to supplement our theater company’s operational funds.


The preceding tips are from
Write for Business:
A Compact Guide to Writing and Communicating

Coming in the January Issue:
“Common Grammar Problems to Avoid:
Using the Right Word, Part II”

“E-Mail for Success—A Workshop Approach to
Writing and Sending E-Mail”

It’s a new generation in on-site training! Visit us online
at www.upwritepress.com for more on this
exciting new concept in business writing.


Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing and Communicating
is available for purchase at 1-800-261-0637 ext. 10,
or on the Web at www.upwritepress.com.

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