This letter uses more words, but it gives the reader a better impression of the personality of the writer. "We have yours of the 18th" and "as requested" are unnecessary words in this case. The letter is a good example of false economy. The revision of it, just quoted, is more like natural oral expression.
14. Correctness essential to effective presentation. —As set forth in Chapter I, a letter may be effective and yet be incorrect as regards form, grammar and presentation. Nevertheless, such letters are nearly always handicapped by their incorrectness. Many men are greatly influenced in judgment by what others deeM small things. They have formed the habit of making nice discriminations which turn on apparently slight differences, and they judge letters accordingly.
15. ability to dictate a good letter comes with experience. But, like ability in writing a correct letter, facility in dictation is not sufficient. What is of first importance is definite knowledge of the purpose of a letter, and of the impression to be made upon the reader that will accomplish this pur pose, and knowledge of the facts that will best serve to make each of the necessary impressions. In other words, a definite plan of action is necessary. Many
letters are dictated without sufficient preparation. Altho the writer is not as clear in his own mind as he would like to be concerning what he wants to say, he often feels that he must keep on talking. The result, as a rule, is a letter of the incoherent type and usually one of greater length than necessary. It is easier to keep right on talking and yet to make each word count if the talker first knows definitely what impres-t sions he wants to make. This is the fundamental' basis of good dictation.
To talk to the addressee, to the stenographer or out of the window, but to sett the addressee—that, too, is a fundamental requirement in good dictation. It is also essential to concentrate on one letter at a time. But the most important thing is for the writer to be sure that all necessary information is at hand be fore beginning to dictate, and for him to be certain that he has the reader's point of view. - Poor dicta tion is generally due to a lack of information. Good dictation is not the result of fluency and accuracy of expression alone. It involves, first of all, effective business thinking, which, in turn, is based on adequate, knowledge, as suggested in preceding chapters.