Improve your writing & speaking skills to be
By Professor Manzoor
Sep 03 - 09, 2001
My first book, an authoritative work on banking — An
Encyclopedic Dictionary of Banking, Business and Management Terms
successfully launched a year ago, received great critical acclaim in the
banking and financial circles as well as business schools.
My present venture — Improve Your Writing and
Speaking Skills to be Competitive being a purposeful project is
intended in the short-term to enable our professional managers and
business people etc. to achieve through their writing and speaking
prowess a competitive edge in the national and international markets and
in the long-run to provide necessary incentive and infrastructure to
create a knowledge-based society in the country without which no
progress is imaginable.
The ability to communicate in writing is the most
important skill one may possess. There is probably more virtue in your
verbal ability, brevity and clarity than in any other thing in life. The
book unfolds the secret of how our high-tech professionals and business
managers can outperform; how they can write winning proposals to outwit
competitors in the global market. Besides its sample letters etc. reveal
how fiercely competitive language our companies can use in designing
products or initiating business communication to capture market share,
A common failing among our politicians and foreign
diplomats has been their incapacity to interact with the Western media,
the scholarly centers and the academics; our politicians still clinging
to the outmoded shibboleths of rejected party doctrine. This diplomatic
passivity and inaction owing mainty to their language difficulties has
in part, alienated the West. The widening communication gap, a tendency
to remain in a fixed condition without change and our behavior of
inertial ignorance having retarded our progress, have alienated our
friends. Hence education is the major critical factor which has failed
our country. India on the contrary has always excelled in reaching out
to western scholarly and cultural centers, Indian scholars and
scientists having generally a welcome excess to their conferences and
In view of the above and our learning and language
difficulties, this book has been meticulously designed to help our
people fulfil themselves through writing and speaking skills.
Education in the face of a new socio-economic millieu,
must be directed toward preparing students to enter complex
decision-making envement. But no definite answers for our today's
economic or political problems etc. are found in our classrooms. The
task of education is to raise relevant questions and to stimulate
students' creative solutions. The students who raise more complex
questions than they can answer may probably be leader's of tomorrow.
The book in view of a new global socio-economic
outlook underscores the importance of American English as the language
of international computers, global business and finance as well as of
international forums. It is according to many analysts the language of
the future. The recent "Plain English movement" seems to be
enjoying a sudden resurgence of interest in corporate America, boosting
popularity of American Language worldwide. Plain English can also help
corporate managers explain their company's strategy to employees,
increasing workplace efficiency. Market experts find an opportunity to
rise above the cacophony conveying their messages more effectively to
their customers. This push is also favored by new economic trends of
deregulation and globalization of the financial markets and today's
people-oriented political debate. Besides the surging trend is a
recognition that new sources of information technology have overwhelmed
the people. These and besides some other key factors have prompted the
author to write this book in American English.
The book begins by defining three forms of British
English—Standard, Colloquial and Slang. The author then makes a switch
from British to American Standard English. The comprehensive chapter on
modern American English also goes on to define the three basic forms of
American English—Standard English, common English and Vulgar English
along with their comprehensive usage.
Two chapters in the book describe modern usage
problems. The writer here explains giving numerous instances how and
when are needed remedies for usage abusage (misuse or abuse of
English ) In the chapter Idioms and Americanisms, delineating
his plans on the subject, the writer defines modern idiom as a phrase
construction, or expression that is recognized as a unit in the usage of
a given language and either differs from the usually syntactic pattern
or has a meaning that differs from the literal meaning of its parts
taken together as in — Not a word did she say, she heard it
straight from the horses's mouth.
However if you have always wanted to get a fix on
most interesting and widely used vocabulary, phrases and idioms my book
may set you straight.
Before working up this short- and long-term project
into a purposeful dissertation and consequent upon my interaction with
the media, the academics and business people, I could see how young
business leaders were clamoring for a book that could produce secret of
modern business correspondence in a wide variety of situations. If you
are totally bewildered at the idea of writing a business correspondence
or dashing off a letter to your mother, this book will set you straight.
51 set of model business correspondence have been listed which may serve
as a quick reference for busy business executives.
This book gives a succinct guidance to grammar; to
avoid outmoded expressions, it takes the reader to a new world of modern
usage. This book is designed to make your work easy and effective. Every
thing you need is inside. Here is a quick concise approach of letter
writing and its paraphernalia. How to formulate and address your
letters, how to get your ideas across effectively and successfully, how
to avoid grammatical errors as well as outmoded expressions and how to
get better business results. Simply tailor your letter out of these
patterns to cater for many different needs. Our model correspondence
covers almost every topic imaginable—sales, marketing, management,
public relations, banking, commercial, social activities and the like.
The Second Part of the Book — Improve Your
Verbal Edge tells us how speeches and presentations
could be vitally important for our public leaders, professors,
management consultants and public relations practitioners etc. Speaking
or presentation ability adds glamor to a professor's erudite lecture.
Such skill shows erudition, beauty and originality in the carefully
prepared presentation by a public leader, management consultant or a
public relations manager.
The public relations man must learn the hard way that
speeches and more precisely presentations are the key
skills in the success of public relations. Public relations may sometime
present its tragic pitfalls when a public relations practitioner not
having come fully prepared for his presentation tries to bluff by force
of his personality and astute PR moves, his way through a lack of
knowledge—which won't work before a learned audience. Someone better
prepared more appropriately and successfully would ask himself who the
audience is and what they want from his presentation?
Before giving his presentation to his client a
careful public relations man would generally look at the company's
strategy and research the audience. In his difficult presentation task
he would not like to try like petty politicians to please, pursue and
promise his audience but elicit management information and opinions and
inform sufficiently to achieve sound decisions.
How to Punctuate and Pronounce to Write and Speak
with a Difference
This is really a challenge to our businessmen's
competitive exuberance. Punctuation being an important tool of business
communication, can professional managers master this technique to hone
their skills to perfection in business correspondence? This strategy may
open up a better perspective of progress and success.
Spelling and Pronunciation
In order to become a good speller, you should make a
habit of consulting a good dictionary when having even a lingering doubt
as to the correctness of a word's spelling as well as of mastering both
the exceptions and the spelling rules. You should also master the
grammatical rules how compound adjectives, adverbs, nouns and verbs are
hyphenated (See Compound Chapter). Some people believe that with the
electronic spelling checkers available on word processors, spelling
errors may be easily rooted out completely by this means and spelling
errors in our writing will be no more. But what about homophones like Knight
and night that are pronounced the same but differ in meaning and
origin etc. and some other kind of words which will not yield quite so
easily? This unfair practice of electronic use of spelling being a
shibboleth—is really a practice that betrays one as an outsider. One
must therefore adopt the right approach mentioned in the book.
Learning to become a better speller
First one must be a careful and good listener before
one could become a good speller. Careless listeners are often poor
spellers and because they do not pronounce the words carefully, they
cannot spell them correctly. Having suffered from their typical speech
impediment, they are at a loss how to improve their speaking ability.
They often pronounce govarnor instead of guverner; govarnance
instead of governens; governament for guvernment; Modren
for Modurn; Modrenity for Modurnete and so on.
A few of the most important rules are listed below to
help you become a good speller.
Differences between British and American spellings
With regard to British and American differences in
spelling, most probably it is spelling that indicates whether a text is
British or American in origin. Examples—Words ending in our or or:
However many such words do not differ in spelling—Emperor,
ending in—re or er.
However not all such words differ in spelling—Acre,
ending in—ise or ize.
When all is said and done, there are really no short
cuts to knowledge. This also holds goods in case of learning of
spelling. Almost none of us is without blemishes in matter of spelling,
but poor spelling is a reflection of one's bad work habits. A person
whose spelling is terrible cannot possibly write better.
British and American Differences in Pronunciation
Generally speaking pronunciation error, carelessness,
and affectation are highly undesirable. The process of making your
pronunciation conform as nearly as you can to the current standard of
educated speech, may turn you into a skilful speaker. Here one has to be
on one's guard, against pronunciation blemishes, as bad pronunciation
habits may slip easily into every one's speech. Careless pronunciation,
affectation and over meticulous pronunciation may mar your natural
speech. However speech impediments like stammering can be cured by
now take a hard look at careless pronunciation:
Elm (one syllable)
Film (one syllable)
Mis chee vee es
Mis che ves (three syllables)
In tirk et
in tri kit (three syllables)
(British) Madn (one syllable)
Mo dur ne te
(British) Ma daineti
Drowned (one syllable)
Ha ri zen (three syllables)
(British) Ha raizn (two syllables)
Correct pronunciation is crucial to help you improve
your speech. Word power is another name of pronunciation power and
skill. Is it the pronunciation used by the BBC newscasters? Is it what
the English professors at elite universities use? Is it what the actors
and actresses an the Broadway stage use? Is it what the educated people
use in Boston or in the Middle West? Is it what the dictionaries
recommend? Correct pronunciation is combination in part, of all of them.
Correct pronunciation in short is current pronunciation.
However there cannot be any final arbiter on the
legality of a pronunciation. Careful speakers should avoid these types
of pronunciations: Careless Pronunciation; Affected or ostentatious
Pronunciation and Overmeticulous Pronunciation.
The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)
set of phonetic symbols used internationally to represent the sounds
human beings use in speech. Each symbol represents one sound and every
speech sound, irrespective of language, is represented by only one
symbol—e.g. English sinner is (sInar) Norwegian kong is
(kOng) (rhymes with gong).
Grammar being the backbone of better writing and
speaking, is central to the theme of this book. It has been defined by
some writers as the art of writing and speaking correctly, effectively
and consistently. Its various rules including the system of inflection,
syntax and word formation etc. including scores of grammatical
descriptions have been discussed in detail, covering about two hundred
Referring in their upbeat mood to Readers Digest's
— Write betters Speak better, as a model of our English language
needs, some people have missed their point in undermining the usefulness
of my book. They are probably not aware that, that book having been
written under a Western cultural, linguistic and etymological background
was probably meant for English speaking people. Our problems with
English as a foreign language are mainly rooted in our cultural,
linguistic and phonetic background. One such problem for example relates
to the features of English pronunciations that are not phonemically
distinctive in our language. A homey down-to-earth approach to these and
such other problems has been attempted in my book.
A lot of effort has gone into making this venture a
success. This book has been carefully designed to help our people hone
their skills to perfection to write well and speak well—a quality that
may really be envied. I do not pretend to be something of an exhaustive
writer and suggestions for improvement in my work are welcome.
The book is priced at Rs. 1000/=. However a discount
of 10% per book is given if the book directly purchased from the author:
E-mail Address: manzoor-ahmed@yahoo-com. The book can also be purchased
from our sole distributors M/s. Royal Book Company B.G.5 Rex Centre,
Zaibunuisan Street Saddar Karachi Ph# 5684244; 5653418 E-mail address: