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Chapter 15. Style Facilitates Effective ... > Final Thoughts on Style - Pg. 71

Style Facilitates Effective Communication The reason sales declined is poor merchandising. 71 Best Sales declined because of poor merchandising. Or ... Poor merchandising caused sales to decline. Tip Your ability to clearly communicate is based to some extent on your vocabulary. As your vocabulary grows, so do your opportunities to be precise in your writing. Style Principle Five: Be Gender-Neutral Several years ago I received a cover letter and resume for an open position. The cover letter was addressed to the "Hiring Manager," but the salutation was "Dear Sir." I was stunned. That this person clearly assumed the Marketing Director was a male stunned me. I did keep the resumé and cover letter on my desk for a couple of days, but only to show my colleagues. I did not consider the writer fit for my department and did not respond to his application. Using gender-neutral language not only keeps you from alienating your readers, but also makes your writing more specific. Caution Your writing style communicates not only your ideas on a specific subject, but also how you think in general. Be careful not to use sexist language.