Re: Harsh criticism needed
by John Garside <jqg(at)pc.dk>
||Tue, 11 Jan 2005 18:40:20 +0100
At around 10:42 11-01-2005 -0500, Dennis J Keibler wrote, in part
>So fwiw (in the U.S.) ...
>The expression et cetera is usually avoided in formal writing; a phrase
>such as "and so on" would be used instead. When etc. is used to close a
>series, a comma is placed before and after the expression (except at the
>end of a sentence).
>In your web page text, I'm not sure what "agree dates" are, but this is
>probably a cultural difference. I'm guessing an Agree Date is like a Time
>Line. Is that correct? Or, reading it another way, do you mean you agree
>upon dates for delivery?
>Some other ways to construct the paragraph would be:
>- Once we have an idea of your training goals, we work with you to
>determine the exact nature of your requirements and design a suitable
>solution. We then prepare the detailed programme and agree dates for delivery.
>- Once we understand your specific training requirements and goals, we
>prepare the detailed programme, a time line, project deliverables, and so
>on, for your review.
>The variations could go on and on, but the point is that the sentences
>can be written in such a way that any ambiguity is avoided.
>I hope you know I'm not trying to criticize your writing. I know my own
>writing is far from perfect. Rather, I'm offering my perspective as a
>fellow website creator from the U.S.
Thanks again Dennis.
To take your last point, the perspective from across the pond -- and
globally -- is very important. This site is far from alone in being aimed
at a worldwide audience. It's all too easy, even now in the Net Age, to
assume that other species of English native -- let alone non-natives --
will have the same understanding as one's mates!
In this instance, I would not have considered that "agree" would be read
as anything but a verb, nor that "etc." was more informal than "and so
on". (On this second point, I actually think the 'voice' of this website
overall is *too* formal; a more human, personal feel might differentiate
This list (Do you say board in the States?) is handy for assessing the
global-ness of the language as well for all the other aspects of a website.
On the subject of global-ness, I can thoroughly recommend Rachel
McAlpine's _Global English for Global Business_.
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