Writing well can be difficult even for those who do it professionally. The English language is rife with opportunities to use the wrong words, punctuation, syntax, or style.
即便是对那些专业的人来说,优秀的写作也有难度。英语里有很多误用单词、标点、句法或文体的情况。
 

And while some might shrug off an inability to communicate in writing as no big deal, others say it matters more than you might think.
有些人可能对无法用书面形式沟通不以为意。但其他人认为,这可能要比你想象的重要。
 

Writing, communication skills, and organizational skills are in high demand in nearly every occupation—even fields like IT and engineering—but difficult for employers to find, according to a study by job market analytics software firm Burning Glass Technologies.
根据就业市场分析软件公司Burning Glass 科技的一项研究,几乎每个行业——甚至像IT和工程领域——都对写作、沟通技巧和组织技能有很高需求,而雇主却很难找到。
 

And being unable to write well may also hurt your personal brand and effectiveness. “If you have a reputation as a bad communicator, a bad writer, when emails come in and they see it's from a certain person, a lot of people might just delete it before reading it.
写作不好则会有损你的个人品牌和效能。如果你冠上了沟通糟糕、蹩脚作家的名声,别人收到邮件,一看是你发来的,可能读都不读就直接删除了。
 

Like, “Oh, I know this never has anything important in it,” says business writing coach Jodi Torpey.
就像,“哦,我知道这里从来没什么重要的事,”商务写作导师乔迪•汤培说。
 

While learning to communicate well in writing is a skill that takes practice, there are some tricks of the trade.
虽然学习如何以书面形式进行良好沟通是一种技巧,需要练习,但这里面有一些窍门。
 

Here, professional writing coaches share the most common writing mistakes they encounter—and how to remember to stop making them.
在这里,专业写作导师分享了一些他们最常遇到的写作错误——以及如何提醒自己,停止犯错。
 

 

ONE: USING THE WRONG TONE
一:使用错误的语气
 

One common error that business writing coach Wilma Davidson sees often in her coaching practice is simply writing inappropriately for the audience.
商业写作导师威尔玛•戴维森在训练实践中常见的一个错误就是写作对象不恰当。
 

Whether it's not considering what the recipient cares about, or sounding like you're scolding when you're correcting behavior, the wrong tone will turn people off, she says.
她说,不管是没有考虑到对方感兴趣的内容,还是在纠正别人时听起来像在指责,错误的语气都会把人拒之门外。
 

Solution. Visualize your recipient, suggests business writing consultant Natalie Canavor.
解决方案。商业写作顾问娜塔莉•卡纳芙建议把你的受众可视化。
 

“Just take a minute to see them in your head, look at their office, hear their voice in your head,” she says. When you see the audience as a real person or people, you're more likely to address them in a tone that resonates with them.
“只要花一分钟,在头脑中想象他们,想象他们的办公室,在头脑中想象他们的声音,”她说。当你把受众视作真实的人或大众,才更有可能用一种语气和他们交流,与他们产生共鸣。
 

 

TWO: BURYING THE KEY MESSAGE
二:掩盖关键信息
 

In journalism, it's called “burying the lede”—or “lead” to others.
在新闻学中,这被称为“掩盖导语”——或“绕”圈子。
 

And it simply means that you're taking too long to get to the point. Providing context or chronology may be necessary, but state your purpose or point up front, then get into the details, Torpey says.
简单来说,就是你用了太长时间才讲到重点。汤培说,提供背景或年代也许是有必要的。但你首先要表明用意或指出重点,然后再论述细节。
 

Solution. Write like a journalist, Torpey says.
解决方案。汤培说,像记者一样写作。
 

Journalists typically use the “inverted pyramid” approach to writing, stating the most relevant facts–who, what, when, where, and why–upfront. Then, they provide the background and supporting material for their story.
记者们通常采用“倒金字塔”的方式来写作,阐述最相关的事实——谁,什么事情,什么时间,什么地点,什么原因——放在前面。然后,他们会为故事提供背景以及辅助内容。
 

This way, even if the reader doesn't finish your email or document, you've still had a chance to get your point across.
这样,即使读者没有读完你的电子邮件或文档,你仍然有机会让别人了解自己的观点。
 

 

THREE: INCLUDING PROBLEMATIC TURNS OF PHRASE
三:采用有歧义的表达
 

Using tired phrases, colloquialisms, or idioms can be problematic. Senka Hadzimuratovic, the head of communications at grammar platform Grammarly, points to commonly misused words says they can be difficult to learn and not translate well in business settings.
使用老套的短语,口语或习语可能会存在问题。语法平台Grammarly的媒体负责人森卡•哈迪R木拉托维克指出了经常被误用的词语。他说这些词学起来很困难,而且在商业环境中不容易被翻译。
 

For example, the phrase, “I could care less” is most often used to indicate that you have no interest left.
例如,短句“我不太关心”通常用来表示你不感兴趣。
 

To say, “I could care less” is, in fact, to imply that you do have more ability to care. The phrase for those searching to say they've really reached their wit's end is, “I could not care less.”
事实上,说“我不太关心”,暗示了你还是有能力去关心的。而那些真的默不在意的人,应该要说“我不在乎。”
 

Solution. “Get rid of clichés,” Davidson says. “They do nothing for your writing.” When you find yourself relying on well-worn phrases, find another way to say what you mean.
解决方案。“抛弃陈腔滥调,”戴维森说。“它们对你的写作没有价值。”当你发现自己对老套的句子产生了依赖时,就要另找一种方式来表达你的意思。
 

 

翻译 Clarie