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Take a Break

  The following sentences are from e-mails to employees of a small company. They all break traditional grammar rules. Answer whether you would change them or let them stand, as is, for informal writing.

_____ A. The Pleasant Company wants to brag! We’ve signed our first $1 million contract.
_____ B. I don’t understand what Stan called the meeting for.
_____ C. The accountant was urged to quietly watch the suspected embezzler.
_____ D. The culprit is me.
_____ E. Done deal! Hooray!


  All five samples are acceptable in informal e-mail to people you know well but not to outsiders you have never met.

Be forewarned, however, that strict grammarians within your organization may argue with your use of second person, an ending preposition, a split infinitive, objective case, and a sentence fragment as shown in the five examples. So be sure you can explain the rule you’re breaking—and why! Ideally, your deviation from tradition should make your writing easier to understand for today’s busy reader.




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