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Commonly Misused Phrases in Business Writing: Compared To, Different Than and More Important

Some common phrases are hard to tell apart. Here is a brief guide to a few common trouble-makers.

Compared To vs. Compared With

When making an analogy to something of an entirely different class, use compare to.

He compared leading a company through recessionary times to steering an ocean liner through a storm.

Compared to moving to a new neighborhood, pulling up an old oak tree was easy.

When comparing things that belong to the same class, use compare with.

When compared with tsunamis, the waves the surfers were riding seemed puny.

Compared with the great flu epidemic of 1918, the swine-flu outbreak seemed insignificant.

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Annoying Email Habits: No Context, Poor Subject Lines, ALL CAPS, No Greeting, Foolish Forwarding

What else can you do to irk the readers of your emails?

Here are a few more examples from our nationwide survey.

Not Providing a Context

  • People who respond to a question that was asked in an e-mail without including the original email, so their response is out of context and forces you to look up the original e-mail you had sent to see exactly what you asked…
  • Failure to include the previous message in your reply

Solution:         Either include the previous email or give the reader a clue to what your email is responding to.

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Annoying Email Habits: Reply All, CC & BCC

Here are more results from Worktalk’s recent poll. Some of these ideas are covered in our course on Using Email Effectively. As I mentioned last week, “reply all” triumphed as the most annoying habit.

In response to the question, “What email habits annoy you most?” here are excerpts of what people wrote:

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Annoying Email Habits: Responding Inappropriately

I recently did a nationwide survey about annoying email habits. The results confirmed the responses in the Worktalk email trainings to the same question. Not surprisingly, “reply all” won the most-annoying top slot. However, a slew of responses fell under the general category of inappropriate email replies.  Here is what people wrote:

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10 Principles of Effective Email

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Why choose WorkTalk trainings?

  • Taught by a professional writer. +

    These courses are not taught by a general skills trainer who happens to teach writing. Elizabeth Danziger has been published by major publishing houses such as Random House and Harcourt Brace. Her work has appeared in many national magazines. She is an expert writer and editor who brings her knowledge as a resource to participants.
  • Customized. +

    Every Worktalk training is customized to the client's needs. We meet with you, analyze writing samples from your organization, and customize our training to target the specific challenges that employees in your organization face.
  • Energetic and entertaining. +

    With plenty of exercises and opportunities for interaction, the Worktalk trainings move quickly. Subjects that were terrifying in grammar school become fun and interesting in these outstanding programs.
  • Proven results. +

    In trainings all over the country, Ms. Danziger has enabled participants to streamline their organizing process, eliminate persistent errors, and drastically cut their revision time. Clients spend less time on key communications while producing better relationships and results. Sales people get more positive responses from prospects.
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