Simple, clear help for your writing problems

Archives for January, 2010

Writing problems or speaking problems? It’s not always clear when you hear annoying errors or useless catch phrases repeated throughout a speech. My case in point: At this time. I heard the phrase at least a dozen times at a presentation I attended recently:

At this time, would everybody please stand?

At this time we honor our star…

At this time, would all students please be seated.

At this time, I would like to thank Bill for…

Bad writing? I don’t know. I hope the person who wrote the cue cards for the speaker didn’t start every sentence with At this time I’d like to attend a presentation where the writers wrote:

Please stand.

We honor our star…

Students, please sit down.

Bill, thank you for…

Just Do It

There’s a peeve I’ve had for decades and I would like to explain it now. I disdain the arbitrary use of the expression I would like to… Did you notice it in the first sentence of this paragraph? It serves no purpose. The paragraph would make as much sense if it began: There’s a peeve I’ve had for decades: I disdain the arbitrary use of the expression…

You hear this useless catch phrase whenever someone expresses thanks in public:

I would like to thank the Academy…

I would like to express my deepest appreciation for your kindness…

Interpreted literally, these phrases express desire, but fail to deliver a “thank you.” The speaker wants to express deepest appreciation, so… the speaker should JUST DO IT:

I thank the Academy…

I deeply appreciate your kindness…

When you write a speech, don’t fill it with meaningless phrases. If you work closely with whoever will deliver the speeches you write, point out the absence of these pointless phrases and encourage the speaker to stick to the script.

 

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