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1. Revise the following letter so that it has an objective tone. Your goal is to let Payroll know that your check did not reach you, but in a professional manner.
Dear Pinheads in Payroll,
Has every one of you suffered a stroke? Did lightning strike all your computers at once? Did everyone succumb to the dreaded bite of the tse-tse fly? I ask because something horrible must have happened to delay my paycheck. I know that you all work so hard to get it out every week that only something catastrophic would keep you from living up to that task. And you do work so hard, don’t you? Crunching all those tough little numbers. Maybe you’ve all suffered horrible finger strain.
Ooh, I just can’t wait for your response: “There was a technical error. It’s not our faults.” Blah blah blah. I can do my job every day—why can’t you send a check once a month?
Maybe you’re not aware of it, because you’re all soulless automatons, but some of us have mouths to feed and bills to pay. Here in Sales, it’s not all trashcan basketball and paper football—I don’t work for fun, you know. And I expect my pay on time. Get it to me ASAP, or I’ll make sure you’re all fired.
With the most sincere thanks you can possibly imagine with your tiny little minds,
2. Revise the following paragraph so that it is no more than 20 words, using the principles of concision mentioned in your textbook. You may rewrite the message to clarify and simplify the content.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, of which we were informed only upon receiving the most recent weather report, the company has been forced by exigent circumstances to postpone the perennial picnic planned since last year. Barring any further problems of a meteorological nature, the festivities and feasting will begin again on the previous Thursday from next week. With any luck, we will enjoy the pleasure of your company then, as always. Though the aforementioned event may not be happening at the previously scheduled time, all attendees are encouraged to bring their assigned dish on the date of the future engagement previously discussed.
3. Revise the following letter, removing sexist language and creating a more professional communication.
Dear Miss Fortin,
As you know, it is the duty of every nurse to clock in at the beginning of her shift. That is so that when a doctor comes into an emergency situation, he can be sure to know which ladies are available. Any nurse incapable of following this simple rule will find herself on report to her supervisor: He will then have cause for dismissal. If a nurse has questions, she may refer to her contract for details. Remember, it is vital that a doctor does not have to trouble himself with small issues like this one.
4. Revise the following paragraph, changing passive voice to active voice.
A long summer vacation should be taken by every family.
Relaxation is needed to stay healthy. Also, families are brought closer together by vacations. An opportunity to experience American culture is provided by them. History is taught and entertainment offered by trips to spots like Colonial Williamsburg. Another boring summer should not be spent in front of the computer. The open road should be hit so that your lives can be reinvigorated.