Do These 3 Things Anytime You Have To Send a Business Email

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So you’ve typed out an email to a client and you’re about to send the message on its merry way. Not so fast though, make sure you’ve done these three things before you click send. Email mistakes are difficult to correct and can be costly or damaging to your reputation.

 

  • Proofread every lineEmails with typos are not taken seriously so have you done a spell check? Are you using proper sentence structure? Are the first letters of the first words in a sentence capitalised? Are all names spelt correctly? Refrain from using multiple exclamation or question marks. Also make sure all links in the email are working. And make sure the subject of the email matches the content. Don’t misrepresent the content of your email — it will annoy the recipient.

 

  • Read your email aloudMake sure you get the tone of your email right by reading your email aloud. Try to avoid using formatting to emphasise words. Instead, use words that reflect exactly what you want to say. Did you address the email receiver by name? Did you open the email with a courteous sentence? Did you conclude the email with at least one pleasantry sentence (e.g., have a great weekend, or best regards)? “Please” and “thank you” also give your email a nice tone. If you’re emotionally charged, give yourself some time to cool down so your emotions don’t creep into your work.

 

  • Check the recipients – Make sure you have all email addresses spelt correctly. Also refrain from using the “reply to all feature” or “CYA.” Reply directly to the sender as others may not be interested. If all recipients of the email do not know each other, use BCc instead of Cc.

 

You can now confidently send that email to your boss or a client.

Interview with Harry Dzomeku– Ghanaian Author and Entrepreneur

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Harry is a Ghanaian entrepreneur who has authored six books namely, Integrated Science for Schools and Colleges, Tilapia Farming Made Easy, The Entrepreneur: Timeless Principles for Business Success, Navigating Minefields: Laws of Possibilities, Navigating Minefields: To Be or Not to Be and Navigating Minefields: Great Expectations. He shares with the Girdblog a little bit about his journey as an author.  

Girdblog: Who is Harry Dzomeku?

Harry: I am an entrepreneur, teacher, author and business strategist. I am the Executive President of LifeLine Holdings, a thriving holding company in Tema, Ghana.

Girdblog: You are launching three books on February 4, can you tell us a little bit about that?

Harry: Yes. I am launching two books in the “Navigating Minefield Series” and the main book, titled “The Entrepreneur: Timeless Principles for Business Success”. The Venue is ICGC-Zoe Temple Community 5, Tema. Adjacent to Chopticks Restaurant. And the time is 3pm. This is my second book launch party.

Girdblog: What was the first book you wrote and why did you write it?

Harry: My first book is titled, “Tilapia Farming Made Easy”. I am currently working on the revised edition. I wrote that book out of a need to educate people, both aquapreneurs and farmers on what to expect on the venture of Tilapia farming. I was consulted by a company to design and promote a business development plan for a tilapia farming project for them. As a business development consultant, with no prior knowledge of tilapia farming, I had to research extensively on the venture. I visited almost all the farms along the Volta Lake. After a successful project, I decided to turn my research into a manual to help others.

Girdblog: How many books have you authored so far?

Harry: Only six.

Girdblog: Haha! Only six, impressive. Who would you say you write for?

Harry: It depends on the subject matter. But mostly adults; young and old. Students, entrepreneurs, Christians, non-Christians. Everyone; adults, practically.

Girdblog: What is the goal of your writing?

Harry: I write to impact on lives for many generations. I hope that the books I’ve written will bless those who read. I am very passionate about the issues I write on. I want to write more, cos there’re a lot of false knowledge out there.

Girdblog: What is the hardest part about writing?

Harry: The introduction or preface. For me, that’s where everything is contextualized. Once that’s done, the manuscript is ready because, the content just flows naturally.

Girdblog: Who is invited to your book launch and why should they come?

Harry: Everyone is invited. But call me first. We plan for what we expect.

Girdblog: Are you working on any new writing projects?

Harry: Yes, currently three. I am revising “Tilapia farming Made Easy” and starting two new manuscripts.  I hope to complete them before February ends. My target book production period is 100 hours. No excuse whatsoever.

Girdblog: Your “target book production period is 100 hours. No excuse whatsoever.” What does that mean?

Harry: When I start a new book writing project, my target is that, it shouldn’t take me more than 100 hours to finish the first draft.

Girdblog: Wow. That’s quite specific and amazing. Now, taking a favourite quote, line or experience from any of your books what would you say to that ONE person out there who needs that single burst of wisdom/inspiration to achieve her/his goal?

Harry: When you find an excuse, don’t pick it up. It’ll rob you of your full potential, and make you a systemic failure.

5 ARCHAIC PHRASES TO AVOID IN BUSINESS WRITING

 

Take a look at the following phrases.

  • Please find enclosed …
  • Please be advised that…
  • Trusting this will meet with your approval…
  • This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of…
  • Pursuant to your letter of…

Do these phrases remind you of old Victorian novels? If so, you’re not alone. Writing like this was once widely accepted and is still frequently used. However, current business writing has taken on a more relaxed tone. Let us look at ways the above phrases can be rewritten.

  • Instead of saying, “Please find enclosed …”

You can say, “I’m sending you a scanned copy of the certificate.”

  • Instead of saying, “Please be advised that…”

You can say “Please send me your payment details within 10 days if you would like to be booked for the conference.”

  • Instead of saying, “Trusting this will meet with your approval…”

You can say, “I hope you approve of the changes made to the document.”

  • Instead of saying, “This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of…”

You can say, “I received your December 15 memo and will plan to attend the ceremony.”

  • Instead of saying, “Pursuant to your letter of May 1…”

You can say, “I received your May 1 letter about the closing of the school.”

10 Ghanaian Writers Who Write For Children

If you have ever lost yourself in the magical world of children’s literature, you will admit, first of all, that children’s literature is a special kind of literary work. You will also wish that there were more Ghanaian writers who write dreams into realities for children and young adults.

It is tempting to think that children’s literature is easy work. After all, who couldn’t come up with stories to entertain impressionable little minds? However, the reality is that writing for children is real work that requires a lot of creativity and skill. We’ve put together a list of ten Ghanaian writers who have put their creativity and skill to work to create beautiful stories for children.

 

 

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1.       Meshack Asare– Meshack Asare was born in Ghana; he taught in Ghana for a while and currently resides in Germany. Meshack Asare’s works as a writer of children’s literature has received international acclaim.  On 24th October, 2014, Meshack won the prestigious Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature becoming the first African to receive the award. Some of his works include The Brassman’s Secret, Noma’s Sand: A Tale from Lesotho, Meliga’s Day Nana’s Son, Sosu’s Call and The Magic Goat.

 

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2.       Ruby Yayra Goka – Ruby is a dentist and a multiple award-winning Ghanaian writer. In the 2010 and 2011 competitions of the Burt Award for African Literature, two of her works The Mystery of the Haunted House, and The Lost Royal Treasure won the third and second prizes, respectively. Some of her books for children include The Step Monster, When The Shackles Fell, and A Gift for Fafa. Ruby doesn’t only write for children, but also for an adult readership. Her books, In the Middle of Nowhere and Disfigured, have been published by Kwadwoan Publishing in Accra.

 

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3.       Sami Gyekye – Is a United States based writer who was born in Ghana to a Muslim mother and a Christian father. His works reflect his exposure to different religious and cultural values. The premise for his first book, South: Halo’s Journey was drawn from having spent half his life in Africa and the other half in his current residence in the United States. Since then, he has published six other books including, Whatzis and the Beyond series. He tweets often using the handle, @RecklessWeasel.

 

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4.       Malaka Grant– Malaka Grant is a Ghanaian-American writer. She not only writes children’s literature, she writes fiction for adults as well as non-fiction. Some of Malaka’s works for children are Yaa Traps Death in a Basket, which was published in 2015 and Sally and The Butterfly. Sally and The Butterfly is a ‘choose your own adventure book’ where readers go on adventures through lands unknown, and are invited to be partners in saving their world.

           

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5.       Franka Maria Andoh – Franka was born in Accra in 1968. Her first short story was published in the Caine African Writers Anthology ‘Work in Progress and Other Stories’. In 2011 she published two children’s stories Koku the Cockerel and Dokono the Donkey. She was recently awarded a grant by the Ghana Denmark Cultural Fund to publish her collection of short stories I Have Time and Other Short Stories. Franka is the founder and Editor in Chief of an annual magazine for women entrepreneurs called AWE.

 

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6.       Elizabeth Irene Baitie – Elizabeth is Ghanaian and an acclaimed writer of literature for young adults. Elizabeth writes for preteens as well as older teenagers. She visits schools and has worked with organisations like the Young Educators Foundation to promote reading. Two of Elizabeth’s works has won the Burt Award twice; The Twelfth Heart in 2009 and The Dorm Challenge in 2012.

 

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7.       Roberta Turkson – Roberta Turkson writes under the pen name Robbie Ajjuah Fantini. Robbie released her debut collection of poems titled Talking Robbish in 2014. Her second book, The Children of Abuta Village is a folktale styled children’s reader.  She has just completed another book for children, The Forbidden Fruit, which will be available on her website; robertaturkson.com in a few weeks. Robbie can be found on facebook and twitter at @talkingrobbish

 

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8.       Ama Ata Aidoo – With a writing career spanning over five decades, Ama Ata Aidoo is no new name to readers. What isn’t so well known is that aside her plays, novels and poetry, Ama Ata Aidoo has written stories for children. Her collection of stories for children, The Eagle and the Chickens and Other Stories, was originally published in 1986 by Tana Press. More recently Smartline Publishers released her children’s title, The Days, inspired by her poem which bears the same name.

 

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9.       Adwoa Badoe – Adwoa Badoe is a Ghanaian writer and storyteller, based in Guelph, Ontario. Adwoa writes children’s literature and literature for young adults. Some of her works include Crabs for Dinner which was published in 1995, The Queen’s New Shoes, The Pot of Wisdom and Aluta, a novel for young adults.

 

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10.   Mamle Wolo – Mamle Wolo is the pen name of Martina Odonkor, a writer of Ghanaian and German ancestry. She has also written stories for adults under the name Mamle Kabu. Mamle’s work for young adults, The Kaya Girl, won the Burt Award in 2011. The Burt Award recognises excellence in fiction for children and young adults.

5 Key Business Writing Tips

Communication is mutual understanding. This is especially important in the business world where poor business writing skills can cost you a contract, a promotion, or a new business opportunity. The better your business writing skills, the better your chances of creating the impact you desire. Here are five ways to make sure your writing is as good as it can be.

 

1. Be brief – Less is more in the business world. Stressed and overworked clients have little enthusiasm to read page after page of flowery and meandering text. Cut out the extraneous material and get straight to the point. This will not only save time, but make your writing easier to understand.

 

2. Avoid Jargons – Sometimes jargons are unavoidable, especially in more technical documents, but in most cases jargons only succeed in making your reader want to roll their eyes. Examples of these are “moving forward” and “game changer”. Also avoid academic language like “ergo” or “henceforth.”

 

3. Use an active voice – “The meeting agenda could be discussed further” is passive. “Let’s discuss the meeting agenda” is active. Active voice conveys confidence and decisiveness. Passive voice is weak and impersonal, sapping the power from your writing.

 

4. Pay attention to names, titles, and genders – How embarrassing is it to write to Mrs. Mensah only to later discover that Mrs. Mensah is actually Mr. Mensah? Such mistakes can be avoided by paying careful attention to names, titles and genders. If one is in doubt about the name or title of a client, check with someone who likely knows, for example their assistant.

 

5. Hire a professional – Okay, so this isn’t a writing tip but it’s often necessary. If you’re working on an important document or have little time to devote to improving your writing, it’s always a good idea to hire someone who specializes in business writing to assist. The quality of your business documents says a lot about your professionalism. 

 

Amazing writing may require talent that not all of us have, but effective writing is a skill that can be acquired. If your business writing isn’t up to snuff, we at the Gird Center are always ready to help.

THIS WEEK ON WATCH YOUR GRAMMAR- “FROM THIS DAY GOING? CHILDISH, CHILDISH”

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Hello, you’re welcome to the summary of the previous week’s WatchYourGrammar lessons. WatchYourGrammar is brought to you by GirdCenter, your guide to correct grammar in English. There were only two lessons for last week; we could not bring you a lesson on Monday, we apologize. We will begin with Wednesday’s discussion. Wednesday’s lesson was a discussion on the actual meaning of the word “CHILDISH.”

“CHILDISH” is an adjective; it means “indicating a lack of maturity”; it does not mean “in the manner of a child.”

When I say “Kofi’s language is childish”, I do not mean that he talks like a little child; I mean his language lacks depth and maturity.

From our discussion, which of these sentences is correct:

“Amma has an adorable CHILDISH giggle”

OR

“Amma has an adorable CHILD-LIKE giggle?”

On Friday, we spoke about the phrase “From this day going.” Let’s look at an example of how this Ghanaian phrase is often used:

“From this day GOING, I’ll put on the lights before I jump onto my bed”, Esi said to Semekor.

In official conversations, what should Esi say in place of “from this day GOING?” Esi can say “from this day FORWARD”, “from now ONWARDS” or “from now ON.”

This is what you should remember: in formal conversations, “from this day FORWARD” is much more appropriate than “from this day GOING.”

This Saturday, 12th November 2016, Gird Center will host Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon and Ms. Ama Akwaa Bernice Akuamoah for our Academic Writing Workshop. The Academic writing workshop is targeted at students and academic professionals. Thinking about how to write that exceptional thesis or statement of purpose? 12th November’s Academic Writing Workshop is your go-to place. Click on this link to register for the Academic writing workshop. http://www.girdcenter.org/gird-writing-camp/register-now/

THIS WEEK ON WATCH YOUR GRAMMAR- “SUPER HOT CANVAS”

Hello there, GirdCenter welcomes you to WatchYourGrammar, your guide to correct grammar in English. We will begin today’s summary of last week’s lessons by drawing a distinction between the nouns “GUIDE” and “GUARD.” “GUIDE” and “GUARD” are different in meaning; they also have a marked difference in pronunciation.

Let’s remember that “GUARDS” and “GUIDES” can be people or inanimate objects. Monday’s lesson focused on people who are referred to as “GUARDS”/ “GUIDES.”

A “GUIDE” is a person whose job is to show people around a place or an institution. A “GUIDE” offers information and explanation to people on a tour. A “GUARD”, on the other hand, is a person who protects or watches over people or property.

Here’s a hint: A “GUIDE” directs, while a “GUARD” protects or defends. Always remember that “GUARD” and “GUIDE” have different meanings.

On Wednesday, we discussed the actual meaning of the noun “CANVAS.”A “CANVAS” is a heavy, closely woven fabric used for clothing, chairs, sails and tents.

We can form this sentence with “CANVAS”: “Afi’s camping tent was made of strong, blue “CANVAS.”

At the end of the lesson we concluded that “CANVAS” is not another name for sneakers; sneakers are shoes made from “CANVAS.”

Friday’s lesson, our final lesson for the week, was an analysis of the word “COMPARISM.”Esi says to Adjo: “You’re making an unfair ‘COMPARISM’ of Kofi’s writing and mine.”

What does Esi really intend to say when she says “COMPARISM?”  The word Esi is looking for is “COMPARISON”, not “COMPARISM.”

Sometimes some Ghanaian speakers of English use “COMPARISM” in place of “COMPARISON.”

It is wrong to say COMPARISM because COMPARISM is not a word in the English dictionary. The right word is COMPARISON, and that is what should be used in formal settings.That’s all for the summary of the previous weeks’s lessons.

This Saturday, November 5, join us for the Business Writing Workshop with Samuel Ameyaw Ntiamoah and Kate Addo. Read more about them here: http://www.girdcenter.org/gird-writing-c…/2016-facilitators/
Young entrepreneurs and corporate professionals who want to add a competitive value to their business communication. Register now: http://www.girdcenter.org/gird-writing-camp/register-now/#GirdWritingCamp2016

 

THIS WEEK ON WATCH YOUR GRAMMAR-“PRIZE THE FOURSQUARE.”

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Welcome to the summary for the previous week’s WatchYourGrammar lessons. WatchYourGrammar is brought to you by GirdCenter, your guide to correct grammar in English. We begin by looking at Monday’s lesson; it was a discussion on the difference between the nouns “PRICE” and “PRIZE.” These words are often used interchangeably, it is however incorrect to use “PRICE” in place of “PRIZE” since the words are different in meaning.

“PRICE” is a noun. It is the descriptive term for the amount of money needed to purchase something. Here’s how we can use PRICE correctly in a sentence: “What is the PRICE of a bag of rice?”

“PRIZE” is a noun as well. It is something given for victory in a contest or competition; it is also what you get for winning a lottery.

Example: She won the Caine “PRIZE” for African writing in 2012 #WatchYourGrammar

“PRICE” and “PRIZE” are pronounced differently; they cannot be used interchangeably because they have different meanings.

Wednesday’s word for discussion was the adjective “NEW AGE.” What do you think is the actual meaning of “NEW AGE?”
“NEW AGE” is a modern spiritual and religious movement that developed towards the end of the 20th century.

This is how it can be used correctly in a sentence: “The ‘NEW AGE’ movement is characterized by spirituality and mysticism.”

Remember, “NEW AGE” does not mean modern or contemporary. Since NEW AGE is not synonymous to modern, it will be incorrect to say “Spoken word is a NEW AGE kind of poetry.”

Our last lesson for the week was on the term “FOURSQUARE.” Esi asked her son Kojo to pick up her phone for her from the dining hall. She told Kojo that the phone was on the “FOURSQUARE” fridge. What does Esi mean by “FOURSQUARE?”

In casual Ghanaian parlance, a “FOURSQUARE” is a square. In formal communication, Esi cannot call a square a “FOURSQUARE.”
It isn’t necessary to add “FOUR” to “SQUARE”; most people already know that squares are four-sided.

That’s all for today’s lesson; enjoy the rest of the day. Our Fiction Workshop with Prof. Ama Ata Aidoo and Dr. Martin Egblewogbe was epic! This Saturday is Creative Nonfiction with Mr. Kobby Graham & Prof Esi Sutherland-Addy. Click on this link to register to be part of the Workshop or call 0206646652 for more information http://www.girdcenter.org/gird-writing-camp/register-now/

THIS WEEK ON WATCH YOUR GRAMMAR – “REMINDER: TERRIFIC POST AHEAD.”

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You are welcome to the summary of last week’s WatchYourGrammar lessons. We start off this week by discussing the differences between two verbs which are often misused. The verbs are “REMIND” and “REMEMBER.”

When you “REMIND” someone of something, you assist by suggesting to them something they have forgotten. You may do this by giving them a cue, or leaving them a note.

On the other hand, to “REMEMBER” is to recall knowledge from memory. When you “REMEMBER”, you recollect. You “REMEMBER” something by yourself; when someone/something causes you to remember something, it is a “REMINDER” (from REMIND)

It is wrong to say: “Kindly REMEMBER me to call Afum tomorrow.” The correct thing to say is: “Kindly REMIND me to call Afum tomorrow.”

What does it mean when someone says she had a “TERRIFIC” idea? This question was posed on Wednesday as we took a look at the actual meaning of “TERRIFIC.”
“TERRIFIC” is an adjective. It means extraordinarily good or great; it is especially used as an intensifier.

For example: “That’s a TERRIFIC idea. You can sleep over at my place so we leave early the next morning.”

“TERRIFIC” can also mean “very great or intense.” For example: “a surgery without anesthesia comes with a TERRIFIC amount of pain.”

“TERRIFIC” is not synonymous to “TERRIBLE”; they cannot be used interchangeably.

On Friday we visited Esi’s compound, where she was having a drink with Addo. Esi is friends with Addo; they have been friends since high school.

Esi calls Addo Shapiro 2; she says that Shapiro 2 is Addo’s “GUY NAME.” What does Esi mean by “GUY NAME?” In Ghana, “GUY NAME” is synonymous to “NICKNAME.” A “NICKNAME” is a substitute for the proper name of a person.

In formal conversation, or in conversations with people who are unfamiliar with Ghanaian parlance, Esi should say “NICKNAME.”

For example: “Addo’s NICKNAME is Shapiro 2. Very few people knew his real name back in school.”

That’s all for this week’s summary of the previous week’s WatchYourGrammar lessons.
Now here’s a TERRIFIC announcement: Gird Writing Camp 2016 is four days away. Register to be a part of this exciting experience by clicking on this link http://www.girdcenter.org/gird-writing-camp/register-now/

THIS WEEK ON WATCH YOUR GRAMMAR- “BOOKLONG PERSONALITY

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You’re welcome to the summary of the previous week’s WatchYourGrammar lessons, brought to you by GirdCenter, your guide to correct grammar in English. Let us begin with Monday’s discussion on the difference between the words “LOSE” and “LOOSE.” These words are sometimes misused in Ghanaian English.

“LOSE” is a verb. It means “fail to keep or to maintain; cease to have, either physically or in an abstract sense.”

For example: Eva ignored most of Joe’s comments. She didn’t want to “LOSE” her temper.

The past tense of “LOSE” is “LOST.” While “LOSE” is a verb, “LOOSE” functions mainly as an adjective. “LOOSE” can function as a verb, a noun or an adverb.

For example: Amma prefers “LOOSE” clothing to tight ones. She says she walks better in “LOOSE” clothes

Here’s a hint: “LOOSE” has nothing to do with being unable to find or keep something.

On Wednesday, we undertook an exercise into finding out the actual meaning of the noun “PERSONALITY.” “PERSONALITY” means “the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character.” Some speakers of English erroneously use “PERSONALITY” as a synonym for person.

This is how PERSONALITY can be used correctly: “Akosua has a really warm PERSONALITY. I feel at home whenever I am with her.” It is incorrect to say “there are several PERSONALITIES in the hallway” if your intention is to say “there are several people in the hallway.”

“PERSONALITY” also means “a celebrity or famous person.” In such a context, we can form a sentence such as this: “Yao’s birthday party hosted three Nollywood personalities.”

Our final lesson for the week was on the word “BOOKLONG.” So Serwaa has very few friends; she wishes she had a few more, however. One day she asks Esi: “Why do people avoid me in the office?” Esi replies: “Serwaa, you’re BOOKLONG; folks don’t like BOOKLONG people very much.”

What does Esi mean by “BOOKLONG?” “BOOKLONG” is a Ghanaian term for a person who is studios and sophisticated; an intellectual. In formal settings, Esi can use “BOOKISH”, “DONNISH” or “HIGHBROW” instead of “BOOKLONG.”

That’s it for this week’s edition of the summary of last week’s lessons. Gird Writing Camp 2016 begins on 22nd October. Find out more about the Camp by clicking on this link http://www.girdcenter.org/gird-writing-camp/ You can register to be part of the Camp by clicking on this link http://www.girdcenter.org/gird-writing-camp/register-now/