Questions And Exercises: Chapter XII. Tone, Or Degrees Of Dignity
§56. Give other illustrations of colloquialism, cant, and vulgarism.
§57. Explain the general relations of colloquialism and vulgarism to business English.
§ 58. Which sentence of the letters quoted strikes you as containing the most ludicrous slump? Write it.
$ 59. A. Bead carefully the following:
1. I MAKE CATALOGUES, BOOKLETS, PRICE LISTS, FOLDERS, Circulars, Mailing-cards and Slips, Circular Letters (of the latter often a series), Newspaper, Magazine, and Trade-Journal Advertising, Street Car Cards - in short, Commercial Literature in all of its many possibilities. I make all of these things without one atom of reverence for "ruts," stereotyped method, or even for the way other people usually make them, and I have, moreover, a strong aversion to so-called "funny" (?) advertising. I am almost ashamed to state, furthermore, that I sometimes make mistakes - of various kinds - but try "ever so hard" not to offer them for sale. To the man whose sagacity prompts him to use his regular business stationery when writing me, I am prone to send samples of my "doings19 that have been known to make trouble for Him with the 10th commandment. Some of my most cherished victims are confirmed "System" readers.
a. GOOD ADVERTISING, I MEAN THE KIND THAT IS "ADHE-sive," - that sort'a sticks in your mind, - is a composition (not necessarily an accidental one), of the horse-sense - and know-how-ness that is known to the trade as "gumption." To baldly claim to be the sole and only "it" - in any direction, savors so strongly of egotism that it may very well be omitted. Of the brothers "Sayso" and "Duso," the latter is by long-odds the favorite with most people. If you would care to have some of my advertising things sent you and will "Sayso,*9 in a decent brief note - (not on a postal card please) perhaps I'll "Duso." I make catalogues, booklets, price lists, folders, circulars, mailing-cards and slips, circular letters (of the latter often a series), newspaper, magazine and trade-journal advertising, street car cards -
Suppose that yon wanted some form letters (circular letters) to use in advertising, direct to the consumers, some article for household use. Should you care to entrust the task to the writer of the advertisements quoted above? Be perfectly frank. Do not answer in the negative unless you are personally convinced that the tone of the letters would probably prevent their success. Discuss the matter a little.
B. Reduce the tone of the italicized words:
1. We had an elegant time.
2. See the scrub-lady.
3. I'm building a new residence for my family.
4. I'm tired and am going to retire.
5. He broke a limb.
6. Say, that was a fine banquet
7. The scope of Billy's financial operations has been exaggerated 8 The scheme has stink into innocuous desuetude.
9. The explosion caused me to stop and look round.
10. The tipping of the boat caused me to cause the pickerel to cause a jump out of the water, which caused me in turn to cause the boat to capsize.
11. In this case the man is Ben Hampton, with whose advent the magazine assumed its present name and character. Up to the time when Mr. Hampton took hold of the business, the publication which he was destined to metamorphose and to start and maintain in the high-road to success, had simply been one of the mass of current periodicals.
12. When you are matching your arguments against another man's halfhearted interest - ordinary copy won't cause him to become enrolled as your customer.
C. Raise the tone of the following sentences by substituting more dignified expressions for those in italics:
1. He is a salesman of no mean calibre.
2. The goods weren't fixed around in the window as they should have been.
3. He had got into the deal too far to back out
4. Our manager is going to be fired.
5. If I take that field I shan't see my folks often.
6. We went to a nearby hotel. [Say "hotel near by."]
7. Anyway that was the price fixed.
8. That helps us some, at all events.
9. We found the goods in back of the freight house.
10. He is a great success in his business.
11. He has lots of scads. [A lot of is more dignified than lots of, which suggests job lots. But the tone can be still further raised.]
12. That's a mighty fine line.
13. We have quite a few of those pieces left
14. Stand right there. [Use just]
15. I can't quit without I ask permission.
16. He wore a white vest.
17. These coats are strictly up to date. [Don't say contemporaneous - that's bombastic Up-to-date is a good colloquialism, but is there nothing else to say instead?]
18. At which hotel are you stopping? [Remember the old joke: "If you manage to get within reach of my house, just stop"]
19. He said I couldn't go; he wouldn't let me.
20. Morgan is certainly a big financier.
21. The way that business went to pieces was simply fierce.
22. I expect you had a hard time.
23. That account will have to come off of the books.
24. They blamed it on me.
25. They really hadn't ought to have done that.
26. Little old New York is plenty good enough for me.
27. I don't like these underhanded methods. [He means underhand.]
28. We wanted to eat the worst way.
29. He is studying for a doctor. 39
30. The factory up to Houghton is theirs.
31. He was just starting out on the road when he took sick.
32. An ideal salesman wants to control his temper.
33. I don't know but what we shall have to buy.
34. There wasn't one of us but what went broke.
35. I didn't stay for the balance of the story.
36. What's the damage for this blow-out}
37. Hello, Doc\
38. The preacher handed us a square line of talk.
39. I saw that drummer talking with a lady friend.
40. How has the business panned out this year?
41. It was a talk-fest by a bunch of faddists.
42. I don't take much stock in his stories.
43. He is thoroughly posted. [Don't imply that a man is only a ledger.] 44. We don't endorse all he says.
45. I've got a new auto.
§60. A. Learn the following paradigm for oral use:
I'm not you're not or you aren't he's not or he isn't we're not or we aren't you're not or you aren't they're not or they aren't
B. Use all the forms of A in each of the following:
4. ---------so sure.
6. ---------so bad as you think.
7. ---------the first to say so.
8. ---------the only consideration.
9. ---------asking much.
10. ---------aware of the fact