Good Use - The Customer is Always Right Essay

Good Use - The Customer is Always Right Essay

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Good Use - The Customer is Always Right

Does "I respectfully submit my resignation," convey the same meaning as, "I quit?" Certainly the tone of voice is different, but do these two phrases say the same thing? Which one is correct? In answering these questions we are making decisions about what constitutes good use in writing techniques. According to Orwell's Advice for Writing, one should, "Never use a long word where a short one will do." Following this line of thinking one would logically conclude that "I quit," a phrase of only five characters in length, is by far the better choice when comparing it to the thirty-two character alternative, "I respectfully submit my resignation." However, there may just be a bit more to proper usage in writing than choosing between longer and shorter words/phrases of the same meaning. In fact, the most important aspect of usage may just be the audience for which the writing is intended. (in other words, it's not the size that counts, it's whose using it!) For example, J. D. Thomas points out that in technical writing, "Efficient communication depends upon a 'middle' range..." or writing that will be utilized by people with varied educational/technical backgrounds. Technicians use jargon that may not be understood by an otherwise well educated person. Therefore, if a technician wants to write a paper explaining some revolutionary way of manufacturing to a potential investor, she's going to have to adjust her writing to suit her audience so as to successfully convey her message. However, the same paper would have to be amended to include specific, object-oriented terminology if it were targeted towards the technician's peers.

Another important aspect of good usage, according to T. Cliffo...

... middle of paper ...

... audience is the determining factor of good use. The two phrases mentioned earlier, "I quit," and "I respectfully submit my resignation," illustrate the power the audience has in writing. Without knowing for whom the phrases are intended, the author can't make a decision between the two. "I quit," is short and to the point, but who is the writer talking to? Will the abrupt nature of the phrase cause tension or will the audience simply ignore it as insignificant babble? If it's an employer that she is expecting a good reference from, perhaps, "I respectfully submit my resignation," is the way to go. On the other hand, if shock value is the intent of the writer, an entire realm of discontinued-employment phrases may become appropriate.

Metaphorically speaking, the audience is the customer in the department store of writing styles, and the customer is always right.

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