The ability to communicate effectively in writing is a core management skill, as important as the ability to delegate, negotiate or manage time. Misspelt words and faulty grammar will cast doubt on the writer's educational standards, if not intellectual standing. Conversely, documents that are concise, clear and well laid out convey an impression of professionalism and competence. This guide also contains a section on Americanization and a style manual for word processor users.
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Rare is the style guide that a person--even a word person--would want to read cover to cover. But The Economist Style Guide, designed, as the book says, to promote good writing, is so witty and rigorous as to be irresistible. The book consists of three parts. The first is the Economist's style book, which acts as a position paper of sorts in favor of clear, concise, correct usage. The big no-noes listed in the book's introduction are: "Do not be stuffy.... Do not be hectoring or arrogant.... Do not be too pleased with yourself.... Do not be too chatty.... Do not be too didactic.... [And] do not be sloppy." Before even getting to the letter B, we are reminded that aggravate "means make worse, not irritate or annoy"; that an alibi "is the proven fact of being elsewhere, not a false explanation"; and that anarchy "means the complete absence of law or government. It may be harmonious or chaotic."
Part 2 of the book describes many of the spelling, grammar, and usage differences between British and American English. While many Briticisms are familiar to most Americans and vice versa, there are some words--such as homely, bomb, and table--that take on quite different meanings altogether when they cross the Atlantic. And part 3 offers a handy reference to such information as common business abbreviations, accountancy ratios, the Beaufort Scale, commodity-trade classifications, currencies, laws, measures, and stock-market indices. The U.S. reader should be aware (but not scared off by the fact) that some of the style issues addressed are specifically British. --Jane SteinbergFrom the Publisher:
A guide to emulating the acclaimed writing style of the esteemed magazine As virtually everyone doing business abroad can tell you, learn to communicate clearly, and you've taken a giant step toward professional success. It's no wonder, then, that this annual "how to" on improving your writing style attracts such a sizable number of readers year after year. After all, it's from the magazine whose superbly written articles are its hallmark. Offering explicit pathways to the clarity, precision, wit, and flair that set the quality of the authoritative weekly apart, The Economist Style Guide is an invaluable tool for anyone seeking to hone his or her communication skills.
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