The tenor of a letter is all important – that is to say the mood, tone, gist, meaning, sense, theme or intention.
A good letter, be it personal or business, can and should set out one’s stall. It should say ‘This is where I am coming from, and this is what I am aiming to achieve’. It is important not to say too much or too little. It is also important to be direct, (tinged with diplomacy if necessary) if that is what is required. There is no point in skirting round an issue if this defeats the intended purpose of the letter.
The choice of words:
The English language is rich in words, but finding just the right words or the right connotation is not always easy. The right word or words can convey the right meaning, just as the wrong word or words can convey the wrong meaning.
Communicating through the written word is very different from communicating in person. With face to face communication, the way something is said, e.g., with an aggressive voice or a sympathetic voice helps convey the meaning, as can body language itself. However, written communication relies on the right choice of words to convey the meaning. There is no waving of the arms or a facial expression showing a smile or anger to help convey the meaning. There are no semiotics, and the words must stand or fall on their own. This is why finding the right word or words is so important. Are there fifty shades of the word ‘grey’? Do we mean ‘grey’, or do we really mean cloudy, overcast, dull, dim, sunless, gloomy, dreary, dismal, sombre, drab, bleak, cheerless, depressing, glum, misty, foggy or murky?
The right expression:
Do you want to pour oil on troubled waters? If so, make sure you don’t unintentionally add fuel to the fire.
Words that work:
Words have a job to do, but only the right words will do the job. One of the tools in a wordsmith’s toolbox is his wide vocabulary. Another tool is the power of persuasion to help get the message across, and which can be achieved in a variety of ways according to the circumstances. But first and foremost, it is about finding the language that brings your issue into the acceptance zone of the thoughts and feelings of your target audience.
The magic of words:
To many, words are no more than inanimate symbols. But to a wordsmith, words needn’t just lie flat on the page; they have a life of their own, and can be made to dance, or even sing! And so, if Wordsmith Perth is invited to the party, there is no telling what the words will do!
Say it with style:
Style is that certain je ne sais quoi, that indefinable quality which will make the writing stand out. It is not about using clever words. But having said that, clever words can sometimes do the trick. Do you know what a snollygoster is? Do your friends engage in onolatry? Do you have torschlusspanik? And do you know how to pook with a pooking-fork? Well, don’t worry if these words all sound a little far- fetched (although they are all for real!) Why not just relax in your sitooterie with a glass of vappa in your hand and enjoy the yaffles singing in your ear? Or you may leave finding the right word to Wordsmith Perth, who swallows dictionaries for fun, and is capable of regurgitating the right word at the right time. Just for you.