Three little things

Earnsy Liu | July 31, 2019

Isn’t it great when you read an article or letter that you understand straight away? Better yet, that everyone understands in the same way, so you don’t end up endlessly debating what it means?

We all appreciate clear communication, but it’s not always easy to say what we think clearly. That’s partly how misunderstandings occur — and how companies end up in court arguing the meaning of contracts.

Try this. What’s the difference between:

They all mean different things, but what?

Clear communication is an art and a science. It takes practice. And you have to consider lots of little things: spelling, structure, words, prepositions, punctuation, tone, rhythm…

If you’ve ever wanted to improve your English (or perhaps your manager has hinted that your reports need improving), you’ve probably thought: ‘It’s too hard! I don’t have the time and energy to learn anything that will make a difference.’
But I’ll let you into a secret: getting three things right will make a big difference. Three things. Articles, subject–verb agreement, and tenses. They won’t fix all communication issues, but they will make a big difference.

Okay, I heard that groan. I know, I know, it sounds like painful grammar lessons. The stuff some of us daydreamed through at school.

Image, printer's block of the digits 1, 2, and 3

Three little things that you can fix to make your writing easier to understand. Image by Wilhei. Pixabay Licence.

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