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By John Greenland

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Sample text

This will help to: ~ get commitment from a reader whom you have targeted precisely ~ set a personal tone for your writing. Layout of Your Letter 55 Writers sometimes identify themselves just with name and initials at the end of their letter. You will see Yours sincerely . . J R Hartley. We have a practical problem in that we need to attach a style (Mr Mrs Miss Ms) to the reply. Those who are not too concerned with gender may still feel displeased at being identified as Mr if they are Ms or Ms if they are Mr.

In the active voice we identify our subject: Language and Style 39 ~ The Bank Manager refused . . ~ The committee decided . . ~ The Senior Engineer authorised . . In practice you will probably use both active and passive voices to reflect the emphasis you wish to place. You will find it natural to say:“The stationery was delivered this morning” as the concern is not with the person who delivered it but with the fact of its arrival. ” * Choose familiar words * Write in the active voice for the natural directness that will result; the passive can be used to give a different slant to the reader.

Some are structural and relate to paragraphs and sentences; others relate to your choice of words. The English language derives from more than one source and contains a large vocabulary. You are not always seeking the single correct word but choosing from a number of possibilities. * * In avoiding repetition you may produce elegant variations that range more widely than is helpful for your reader. Writers and readers seek clarity and conciseness in letter writing. Familiar, concrete words delivered in the active voice will give you a good start.

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