Saturday, January 12, 2008

PLAIN ENGLISH, Jan. 5th

Writing clear, direct English is particularly important in a business context. Please rewrite the following item; there are many different but correct ways of doing this.

It is very important that a thorough investigation be initiated by
the members of the Health and Wellness Committee into the continuing complaints of an insect infestation of unknown origin in certain quarters of the premises.

Responses are saved in the archives.

9 comments:

Tammy said...

A thorough investigation should be initiated by members of the Health and Wellness Committee; To investigate complaints of an insect infestation of the premises.

Veronica Baig said...

Tammy: This is a good start--don't use a capital letter after a semicolon;-)

Irena said...

A through investigation should be initiated by the members of the Health and Wellness Committee into an insect infestation in the certain quarters of the premises.

blowen said...

The members of the Health and Wellness Committee should thoroughly investigate complaints of an insect infestation on the premises.

blowen said...

It is very important that the members of the Health and Wellness Committee initiate a thorough investigation into the continuing complaints of an insect infestation in certain quarters of the premises.

marie-christine said...

It is important that the members of the Health and Wellness Committee should investigate into the continuing complaints of insect infestation in certain quarters of the premises.

Veronica Baig said...

Irena: That's an improvement.
Blowen: Good--you got rid of the passive! Your first version is the best--it's much briefer.
Marie-Christine: Good--slightly longer--get rid of "into": investigate is a transitive verb;-)

Nancy said...

Due to the numerous complaints of insect infestation that are of unknown origin in some of the areas of the premises, it is required for Health and Wellness Committee to initiate a thorough investigation.

Veronica Baig said...

Nancy: You have the right idea, but one of the objectives is to cut down on wordiness. See my note on Blowen's first entry. The passive voice is just one type of wordiness and indirect communication.