Apologies to the genius who invented that headline – it ran and ran in American publications in the early years of the 20th Century, promoting a home-study course to improve both written and spoken English (spoken as in “use of language” rather than elocution). The copy was so successful that it’s still used to train copywriters in their craft.
Sadly, though, the product doesn’t seem to be available any more. Why “sadly”? Because there are a lot of people out there who could use it.
My accountant was bemoaning the fact that he has to check every single piece of writing that goes out of his office, to make sure it’s written in proper business English. Often it’s not and he has to correct it. He’s one of the founding partners in the firm: his time is expensive, but it still seems to him worth his while to spend it reading and correcting letters, blogs and other communications that represent his business to the outside world.
It’s a sad comment on the state of education in Britain today (humph! pshaw! tut!) that he is not alone.
And it’s for people like his staff that I wrote a short book covering the basics of English usage and grammar. It’s called “27 Writing Mistakes That Could be Costing You Money, and How To Avoid Them”. That’s it on the right, in the sidebar.
It covers things like where to use apostrophes; the difference between a colon and a semi-colon; when to say “you and me” and when it should be “you and I”. As I said, basic stuff, but stuff that a lot of people seem confused about. It’s quick to read, easy to refer to and, above all, light-hearted.
Now you can get a copy for yourself or someone else who needs it. It’s dead easy: just go here, or click on the picture below or in the sidebar, and fill in your details. You’ll be signed up for my regular newsletter, too; I hope you’ll enjoy it, but there is an unsubscribe button! Meanwhile, the ebook is yours to keep or give away, save on your desktop or print (or both).