Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Watch Your Tone--Part 2

Pronouns Make the Tone Personal
First Person Singular: I, me, my, mine = Accountable language, readers feel confident that you will do what you promise
  • First Person Plural: We, our, us + Royal “we’,” authoritative, use this to represent your department or company
  • Second Person: You, yours = Highly personal, can sound confrontational, avoid using this when delivering bad news (See my May 6 blog post on how to write bad news letters)
  • Third Person: He, she, it, they, them, his, hers, its, their, theirs = Neutral, can create distance between you and the reader
What is the tone for each sentence?
  1. You did not send the check by the deadline.
  2. We didn’t receive the check by the deadline.
  1. You must enroll by November 30.
  2. Employees must enroll by November 30.
  1. The company lost the bid because the budget breakout was not included.
  2. We lost the bid because we did not send the budget breakout.
  1. You cannot file a claim until you complete the right forms.
  2. A claim can be filed when the proper forms are completed.
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