Grammar tips

Words not to use

Words to avoid in your B2B writing

Here are some suggestions for words to avoid in in your B2B writing. Personal judgement words. It’s common to see a business describe itself as the’ best’ or as the ‘leading’ in its field. Unless, you have independent evidence to prove your business really is the best, avoid judgement words. For example, it’s just not credible to say: “We are the leading law firm…” It is better to say: “Five of Australia’s top 10 listed businesses choose our legal advice.”…

Words to avoid in your B2B writing was last modified on June 25th, 2017 by Proof Communications Author
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write words

How to get those fiddly words right (or should it be ‘write’)

While speed of communication is of paramount importance these days, sacrificing accuracy for speed is a no go, particularly if it leads to your business communication making a poor impression. Here’s the latest in our series of understanding commonly misused words to get off on the right foot. Affect/effect These two words sound so similar it’s easy to getting them confused. “Affect” is a verb and means to influence something. “Effect” is most commonly used as a noun, so it…

How to get those fiddly words right (or should it be ‘write’) was last modified on June 25th, 2017 by Proof Communications Author
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Comma

Could a comma cost you $10M?

If you think that “never underestimate the importance of a comma” sounds like an exercise in uber-pedantry, then just ask the US dairy company now facing an overtime bill of approximately $10M about their recent experience. And it’s all because of one of those innocuous-looking little black squiggles known as the Oxford comma. Rarely used in the UK or Australia, but widely used in the US, an Oxford comma is used after the penultimate item in a list of three…

Could a comma cost you $10M? was last modified on June 25th, 2017 by Proof Communications Author
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writing sharp sentences

How to write sharper business content, even if you’re not a copywriter

Very often we write as we speak and, as a result, our written sentences are too long for people to digest quickly. This is especially true of reports, tenders and proposals. That’s not to say that sentences must always be short. There’s a school of thought that says business writing should comprise sentences of no more than seven words. Other people say 15 words max. That’s fine for direct mail, flyers, adverts, brochures and website copy. But when you’re explaining…

How to write sharper business content, even if you’re not a copywriter was last modified on August 28th, 2018 by Proof Communications Author
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Feed your website to keep it alive

Giving birth to a website is no mean feat. There are all the usual labour pains to contend with and arguments over what to name it. Some months later (and it’s often overdue), the actual delivery of your online brainchild is a rollercoaster of a time. But, at long last, you have a cute website you can call your very own. Job done. Or is it? Creating a website is one thing; keeping it alive is quite another. It’s easy…

Feed your website to keep it alive was last modified on February 28th, 2017 by Proof Communications Author
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Tricky words

Tricky Words That Trip Us Up

The English language may be blessed with many words, but quite a few can easily trip us up. Here are some of the most common words that even the best English writers confuse. Unique Many businesses like to think of themselves as the most unique in their industry. But ‘unique’ means truly one of a kind. Therefore, you cannot be the ‘most unique’ or ‘one of the most unique’ or the ‘only unique’. You are either unique or you’re not.…

Tricky Words That Trip Us Up was last modified on October 20th, 2016 by Proof Communications Author
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Typos, business writing

French widow in every bedroom – the typos that got away

Laughter is not only good for the soul but a great way to start the day. So take a moment to enjoy this selection of howlers from Drummond Moir’s excellent book, “Just My Typo”. For coping with unexpected guests, it’s always a good plan to keep a few tons of sardines in the house. – Woman’s Weekly To call a broad from France, first dial 00. – Paris guidebook Later that same evening after a vain search all around the village, Mary found…

French widow in every bedroom – the typos that got away was last modified on September 15th, 2016 by Proof Communications Author
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The Comma Sutra: How to use a comma

There’s nothing like a comma to tie you up in grammatical knots.  Sure, this cute, curvy symbol looks innocent enough, but behind its oh-so-deceptively simple style, this little baby has the power to take your sentence and give it a WHOLE new meaning.  If you don’t think commas are important, try forgetting one when you tell someone “I’m sorry, I love you.” Here are just a few of the ways in which commas come in really useful when you’re writing. Commas separate elements in a series  “Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, and Croatia…

The Comma Sutra: How to use a comma was last modified on July 30th, 2016 by Proof Communications Author
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Annual Report Mistakes

7 ways to avoid annual report writing mistakes

Around the start of a new financial year, the team at Proof Communications is asked to proofread annual reports and it’s always interesting to see how few typos we find. In a typical 150-page annual report, we usually find only a handful of spelling mistakes, even in the 50 pages or so of very dense, copy-heavy financial statements. What’s more usual is inconsistency in how phrases, titles or financial terms are presented. This is down to different writers’ input into…

7 ways to avoid annual report writing mistakes was last modified on July 19th, 2016 by Proof Communications Editor
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Top 5 Grammar Mistakes

Top 5 grammar mistakes

The extra comma  As you’ll remember from school, we use commas to separate items in a list. For example: I bought bread, eggs, tomatoes and bacon. One difference between Australian English speakers and writers and our friends in the US is American’s use of what we regard as an extra comma. They call it a Harvard comma. We call it an Oxford comma. (Also called a serial comma.) The extra comma goes in before the last item in the list:…

Top 5 grammar mistakes was last modified on March 9th, 2018 by Proof Communications Editor
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