Lexico-sementic characterstics of business letter correspondence

Lexico-sementic characterstics of business letter correspondence

Курсовая работа

по теме:



Сдала:     студентка гр. РП -41
Юрченко М. В.

Приняла: ст. преподаватель Галиченко Н. Ю.







sampling of contract phrases………………………………..

esoteric words……………………………………………..

words against passive………………………………………











The subject matter of the course paper is the role of lexics
and semantics in the case of business letter correspondence. The question of
the history of official communication, the main stages of business
transactions, the role of person’s feeling for the proper use of phrases as
well as his knowledge of grammar are highlighted. Moreover, those phrases which
are more often used in business letters are examined from the point of view of
their appropriateness in different situations. The practical part contains
several examples of business letters; the occasions on which they were written
and some of their characteristics are observed.


Letter writing
— is an essential part of communication,  an intimate part   of   experience.  
Each  letter-writer  has  a characteristic way of writing,  his style of writing,  his way of expressing  thoughts,  facts, 
etc.  but  it  must  be emphasised that the routine of the official  or  semi-official business letters  requires  certain 
accepted idioms,  phrases, patterns, and grammar which are found  in  general  use  today. Therefore certain  skills  must  be
acquired by practice,  and details of writing must be carefully and thoroughly learnt.

A cheque,  a
contract or any other business paper sent by mail should always be accompanied by
a letter. The letter says what is  being  sent  so that the recipient should know exactly what you intended to send.  It is a
typical business  letter  which some people  call "routine".  The letter may be short or long, it may contain some very important 
and  much  less  important information —  every  letter  requires  careful  planning  and thoughtful writing.

In recent 
years  English has become a universal business language. As such,  it is
potentially an instrument  of  order and clarity.  But  words  and phrases have
unexpected ways of creating binding commitments.

Letter-writing, certainly,  is  not  the  same as casual conversation, it  bears  only  the 
same  power  of  thoughts, reflections, and observations as in conversational talk,  but the form may be quite different. 
What  makes  the  letter  so attractive and  pleasing  is  not  always  the  massage of  the letter, it is often the manner and
style in which  the  massage is written.

E.g.: "I wish to express to you
my  sincere  appreciation for your note of congratulation."

am  sincerely happy that you were elected President
of Biological

As you  see 
such  formulations  show the attitude of the writer, his respect and sincerity.

The language
of business,  professional and semi-official letters is formal,  courteous, 
tactful, concise, expressive, and to the point. A neatly arranged letter will
certainly make a better impression on the reader, thus good letters make good
business partners.

In the case of
"scientific correspondence" the majority of letters bear   mostly  a 
semi-official  character  and  are concerned with different situations
associated with scientific activities concentrated  around the organisation of
scientific meetings (congresses,   symposia,   workshops,   etc.),    the
arrangement of visit, invitation, publication, the exchange of scientific literature, 
information, etc. Letters of this kind have a   tone  of  friendliness, 
naturalism.  Modern  English letters should not be exaggerated,  overburdened,
outmoded with time-worn expressions.  The  key  note  is simplicity.  Modern
letters tend towards using the language of conversational style.

Writing is  
not   only  a  means  of  communication  and contract, but also a record of
affairs,  information,  events, etc. So  it  is  necessary to feel the spirit
and trend of the style in order to write a perfect letter.

or  contract  law is a complex and vastly documented subject,  only a lawyer 
can  deal  with  it  on  a serious level.  A number of basic principles, 
however, can be outlined sufficiently to mark of encounters that  require  the
use of specialised English.

Doing business
means  working  out  agreements with  other people, sometimes through 
elaborate  contracts  and sometimes through nothing but little   standard   
forms, through exchanges of letters and conversations at lunch.

Nowadays more
and more agreements are  made  in  English, for English  is  the  nearest 
thing  we  have  to a universal business language.  Joint ventures,  bank
loans, and trademark licenses frequently  are  spelled  out  in  this language
even  though it is not native to at least  one  of  the  contracting parties.

As a beginning
I am going  to  look  at  the  subject  of writing of business  letters 
generally.  In  the  main there are three stages transactions involving
business contracts: first, negotiation of  terms,  second,  drafting documents
reflecting these terms,  and third,  litigation to enforce  or  to  avoid
executing of these terms. To my mind, a fourth might be added, the
administration of contracts.

I am  going to
look through the first two since the third and the fourth are related only to
the field of law. A typical first stage of contract is two or more people
having drink and talking about future dealing.  A second phase might be letters
written in order to work out an agreement.

In these two
early stages it  will  be  helpful  to  know something about rules of
contract.  But what rules?  Different nations borrow or create different legal
systems, and even within a single country the rules may vary according to
region or the kind of transaction involved.

It is worth
knowing that the distinctions in legal system of England are mainly historical.

The history 
of  writing  business letters is undoubtedly connected with the history of
development of  legal  language. English is in fact a latecomer as a legal
language.  Even after the Norman  Conquest  court  pleadings  in  England 
were  in French, and before that lawyers used Latin.  Perhaps,  some of our
difficulties arise  due  to  the  fact  that  English  was unacceptable in its

Contract in 
English  suggest   Anglo-American   contract rules. The  main  point  is always
to be aware that there are differences: the way they may be  resolved usually 
is  a problem for lawyers.  With contracts the applicable law may be the law of
the place where the contract is made; in other cases it may be the law of the
place where the contract is to be performed. It is specified in preliminary
negotiations  which  system  of law is to apply.

Diversity is
characteristic feature of English; here is a wide range of alternatives to 
choose  from  in saying things,  although the conciseness is sometimes
lacking.  Consequently,  the  use  of  English is  a  creative  challenge.
Almost  too many riches are available for   selection,   that   leads  
occasionally    to masterpieces but more frequently to mistakes.  English is
less refined in its distinctions than French,  for example, and this makes it
harder to be clear.

That does not
mean that English is  imprecise  for  all things are relative.  If we compare
English with Japanese,  we will see  that  the  latter  possesses  enormous  
degree   of politeness to   reflect  the  respectiveness  of  speaker  and
listener as well as of addresser and addressee.

Here I  cannot
help mentioning the fact that as contracts are so unclear in what every side
intends to  do,  a  contract can sometimes put a company out of business.

Thus everybody
who is involved in any  kind  of  business should study   thoroughly   the 
complex  science  of  writing business letters and contracts.


From the
lexicological point of view isolated  words  and phrases mean  very little.  In
context they mean a great deal, and in the special context of  contractual 
undertakings  they mean everything.  Contract  English  is  a prose organised
according to plan.

And it 
includes,  without limitation,  the right but not the obligation to select
words from a wide variety  of  verbal implements and write clearly, accurately,
and/or with style.

Two phases of
writing contracts exist:  in the  first, we react to  proposed contracts
drafted by somebody else,  and in the second,  which presents greater
challenge,  we compose  our own.

A good
contract reads like a classic story.  It narrates, in orderly sequence,  that
one part should do this and another should do that,  and perhaps  if  certain 
events  occur,  the outcome will be changed. All of the rate cards charts, and
other reference material ought to be ticked off one  after another according to
the sense of it. Tables and figures, code words and mystical references are 
almost  insulting  unless  organised and   defined.  Without  organisation 
they  baffle, without definition they entrap.

In strong
stance one can send back the offending document and request a substitute
document in  comprehensible  English. Otherwise a series of questions may be
put by letter,  and the replies often will have contractual force if the 
document  is later contested.

A sampling of contract phrases

observations about English so far have been general in nature. Now it appears 
logical  to  examine  the  examples  of favourite contract  phrases,  which 
will help ease the way to fuller examination of entire negotiations and
contracts. a full glossary is beyond reach but in what follows there is a
listing of words and phrases that turn up in  great  many  documents, with
comments on each one. The words and phrases are presented in plausible contract
sequence, not alphabetically.

Everyman’s idea of how a contract begins.  Some lawyers dislike
"Whereas" and use recitation clauses so marked to distinguish them
from the text in the  contract.  There  the real issue lies;  one must be
careful about mixing up recitals of history with what is actually being agreed
on. For example,  it would be folly to write: "Whereas A admits owing B
…" because the  admission  may  later  haunt  one, 
especially if drafts are never signed and the debt be disputed.  Rather less
damaging would be:

the  parties have engaged   in   a   series   of  transactions   resulting 
in   dispute  over  accounting  between them…"

On the whole
"Whereas" is acceptable, but what follows it needs particular care.

"It is
understood and agreed
" On the one hand, it usually adds nothing,
because every clause in the contract is "understood and agreed" or it
would not be written into it.  On the  other  hand, what it adds is an
implication that other clauses are not backed up by this phrase: by including
the one you exclude the other. «It is understood and agreed» ought to be

A  decent  enough little word doing the job of six ("Referred to later in
this  document").  "Hereinafter" frequently sets  up abbreviated
names for the contract parties.

For example:

International  Drapes and Fishmonger,  Ltd  (hereinafter

Without Limitation
" It is useful and at  times essential phrase. 
Earlier  I’ve noted that mentioning certain things may exclude others by
implication. Thus,

"You may 
assign  your exclusive British and Commonwealth rights"

suggests that you may not
assign other rights assuming you have any. Such pitfalls may be avoided by
phrasing such as:

may  assign  any  and  all  your  rights  including without limitation your
exclusive  British   and Commonwealth rights".

But why
specify any rights if all of them  are  included? Psychology is  the  main 
reason;  people want specific things underscored in   the   contracts,   and  
"Including   Without Limitation" indulges this prediction.

and  Licensees
"  These  are  important  words which acceptability
depends on one’s point of view

its assignees and licensees…"

suggests that
Knightsbridge may hand you over to somebody else after contracts are signed. 
If you yourself happen to be Knightsbridge, you  will want that particular
right and should use the phrase.

" It is a classic. The British use this phrase all by
itself,  leaving the reader intrigued.  "Without Prejudice" to  what 
exactly?  Americans  spell  it  out  more elaborately, but  if  you  stick  to 
American  way,  remember "Including Without Limitation",  or you may 
accidentally exclude something by implication.  Legal rights,  for example, are
not the same thing as remedies the law  offers  to  enforce  them. Thus the
American might write:

prejudice to any of my existing or future rights or remedies…"

And this leads to another phrase.

"And/or" It  is an essential
barbarism.  In the preceding example I’ve used the disjunctive "rights or 
remedies".  This is not always good enough, and one may run into trouble

"Knightsbridge or Tefal or
either of them shall…"

What about both together?  "Knightsbridge and
", perhaps, followed by "or either". 
Occasionally the alternatives become  overwhelming, thus   and/or   is  
convenient   and  generally  accepted, although more detail is better.

"Shall" If one says  "Knightsbridge 
and/or  Tefal  shall
have…" or   "will   have…",  legally 
it  should  make  no difference
in the case you are consent in using  one  or  the other. "Shall", 
however,  is stronger than "will". Going from one to another might suggest that one
obligation  is  stronger somehow than  another.  Perhaps,  one’s position may determine the choice. "You shall",
however is bad form.

"Understanding" It is  a 
dangerous  word.  If  you  mean agreement you  ought  to  say  so.  If  you  view  of  affairs that there is no agreement,  "understanding"
as a noun suggests the
opposite or comes close to it.  .it stands,  in fact, as a monument to unsatisfactory
compromise.  The  softness of  the word conjures  up  pleasing  images.  "In  accordance
our understanding…" can be interpreted in a number of ways.

"Effect" Here  is  a   little  
word   which   uses   are insufficiently praised.    Such   a   phrase   as   "We   will produce…"  is inaccurate,  
because   the  work   will    be subcontracted and   the  promise-maker  technically  defaults. Somebody else does the producing. Why
not say "We will produce or cause to be produced…"?  This is in fact often
said,  but it jars the ear. 
Accordingly "We  will  effect  production…" highlights the
point with greater skill.

"As between us" It is useful, 
because people are  always forgetting or   neglecting   to  mention  that  a 
great  many interests may  be  involved  in  what  appears  to  be  simple
dialogue. "I reserve control over…" and "You have
the final power of decision over
…" sound like  division  of 
something into spheres,  but  frequently  "I" am in turn
controlled by my investors and "You" — by a foreign parent
company,  making the language
of division inaccurate. Neither of us really controls anything, at least ultimately.

Thus  it  will  be  useful  to say, "As
between us, I control
…" and so on.

"Spanning" Time  periods  are 
awkward  things: "...for  a period commencing August,1 and 
expiring  November,15
…"  is clumsy; "...from  August,1
to November,15
…" is skeletal when informing how long a contract
obligation endures.

But  during  particular time  periods  one  may be
reporting for work,  for example, three days out of every five, or doing
something else that is within but not completely parallel to the entire time
period involved.

A happy solution is the word "Spanning".
It goes this way:

"Throughout the period spanning
August,1 — November,15 inclusive you will render services  as  a   consultant
three days out of every five."

It will  be  useful to put "inclusive"
at the end for without it you may lose the date, concluding the period being

"Negotiate in Good Faith"  The 
negotiators  have  worked until late at night,  all points but one have been
worked out, the contract will never be signed without resolution  of  some
particular impasse.  What is there to do?

Agree to "Negotiate in Good Faith" on
the disputed point at  later  time. This  is done frequently,  but  make no
mistake about the outcome. The open point remains open. If it happens to be 
vital  you  may have no  contract at all.  "Negotiate in Good Faith"
is one of those evasions that must be used sparingly. At the right time it
prevents collapse, at the wrong time it promotes it.

"Confirm" It suggests, of course,
that something has been agreed upon before. You are writing now only to make a
record of it. "I write to confirm that you admit  substantial 
default  in delivery
" Frequently we encounter it in ordinary
correspondence: "Confirming your order", "Confirming
the main points of our agreement
", and so on.

"Furnish" It is a handy word which 
usefulness  lies  in the avoidance  of worse alternatives. Suppose you transact
to deliver a variety of elements as  a package.

"Deliver"  leaves out, even  though 
it  may  well  be implied,  the preliminary purchase or engagement of these
elements, and at the other end it goes  very far in suggesting responsibility
for getting the package unscathed to where it belongs.

Alternatives also  may go wrong,  slightly,  each with
its own implications.

"Assign" involves legal title; 
"give" is  lame  and  probably  untrue; "transmit"
means  send.

Thus  each word misses some important — detail or
implies unnecessary things.

"Furnish"  is  sometimes useful when more
popular words fall short or go too far. It has a good professional ring to it
as well:

"I agree to furnish all of the elements listed
on Exhibit A annexed hereto and made part hereof by incorporation."

Who is  responsible for non-delivery and related questions can
be  dealt  with  in  separate  clauses.

"Furnish"  avoids jumping the  gun.  It
keeps away from what ought to be treated independently but fills up enough
space  to  stand  firm.

The word is good value.

"Right but Not  Obligation"  One  of 
the  most  splendid phrases available. Sometimes the  grant  of  particular rights carries with it by implication a duty
to exploit them. Authors, for example,  often feel betrayed by their publishes,
who have various rights "but do nothing about them." Royalties
decrease as a result; and this situation, whether or not it reflects real
criminality,  is repeated in variety  of  industries  and court cases. Accordingly it well suits the grantee
of  rights to make  clear at the very beginning that he may abandon them. This possibility is more
appropriately dealt with in  separate clauses reciting the consequences. Still, contracts have been known to 
contain  inconsistent  provisions,  and  preliminary correspondence may  not 
even  reach the subject of rights. A quick phrase helps keep you out of trouble: "The Right but  Not
Obligation". Thus,

"We shall have the Right  but  Not 
Obligation  to  grant sublicenses in Austria"("But if we fail, we

Even this magic phrase has its limitations  because 
good faith may require having a real go to exploiting the rights in question.
Nevertheless "Right but Not Obligation" is useful, so much so   as  to 
become  incantation  and  be  said  whenever circumstances allow it. I the other side challenges these words, it
will   be  better  to  know  this  at  once  and  work  out alternatives or
finish up the negotiations completely.

"Exclusive" It’s importance in contract
English is  vast,  and its omission   creates  difficulties  in  good  many 
informal drafts. Exclusivity as a contract term means that somebody  is -barred
from dealing with others in a specified area. Typically an employment may be
exclusive in that the employee  may  not work for  any  one else,  or a license
may be exclusive in the sense that no competing licenses  will  be  issued.

Antitrust problems cluster  around  exclusive 
arrangements but they are not all automatically outlawed.

It follows that one ought to specify whether or   
not   exclusivity   is   part   of   many transactions. If not,  the  phrase 
"nonexclusive"  does  well enough. On  the  other hand,  if a
consultant is to be engaged solely by one company,  or a distributorship
awarded to nobody else except  X,  then  "exclusive"  is  a  word 
that deserves recitation. "Exclusive Right but Not Obligation" is an
example that combines  two  phrases  discussed  here.

The  linking of concepts is a  step  in  building  a 
vocabulary  of  contract English.

"Solely on  condition that" One of
the few phrases that can be considered better than its short counterparts. Why
not just   "if"? Because  "if"  by  itself  leaves  open 
the possibility of open contingencies:

"If Baker delivers 1,000 barrels I will buy
" is unclear if you will buy them  only  from  Baker.  Therefore
what about "only if"? Sometimes this works out, but not always.

"I will buy 1,000 barrels only if Baker delivers
them" is an example  of "only if" going fuzzy.  One possible
meaning is "not more than 1,000 barrels" with "only"
assimilated with the wrong word. Here then a more elaborate phrase is

"I will buy 1,000 barrels solely on condition
that  Baker delivers them
" makes everything clear.

"Subject to"  Few  contracts  can do
without this phrase. Many promises can be made good only if certain  things 
occur. The right   procedure   is   to   spell  out  these  plausible
impediments to the degree  that  you  can  reasonably  foresee them.

"We will deliver these subject to our
receiving  adequate supplies";

"Our agreement is subject to the
laws of Connecticut";

"Subject to circumstances beyond
our control ".


Foreign esoteric words

Every now  and then a scholarly phrase becomes
accepted in business usage.  "Pro  rate"  and  "pari 
"   are   Latin expressions but concern money.  "Pro rata"
proves helpful when payments are to be in a proportion reflecting earlier 
formulas in a  contract.  "Pari  passu" is used when several
people are paid at the same level or time out of a  common  fund.  Latin,
however, is not the only source of foreign phrases in business letters.

"Force majeure"  is a French phrase
meaning circumstances beyond one’s control.

English itself  has plenty of rare words.  One example
is "eschew"; how  many  times  we  see  people  struggling  
with negatives such  as "and  we  agree not to produce (whatever it is)
for a period of X". The more appropriate phrase would be

"we will eschew production".

But here it should be mentioned  that  not  everyone 
can understand such  phrases.  Therefore rare words should be used only once in
a long  while.  Those  who  uses  them  sparingly appears to be reliable.

Some words against passive

Until now the  study  of  writing  business  letters 
has consisted largely  of  contract  phrases  accompanied by brief essays
evaluating  their  usefulness.  The   words   are   only samplings and are
presented mainly to conduce writing business letters in a proper way.  It will
be wrong,  however, to bring this list  to an end without mention of a more
general problem that arises in connection with no fixed word pattern at all. It
arises, rather from using too many passives. Such phrases as "The
will be delivered";

"The start date is to be decided";

"The figures must be approved" are obscure ones
leaving unsettled who it is that delivers, who decides,  and who does the
approving.  Which side it is to be? Lawsuits  are  the  plausible  outcome  of 
leaving it all unsettled. Passives used in contracts can  destroy  the  whole
negotiations. "You  will  deliver"  is better for it identifies the
one who will do delivering.  Certainly,  "must be approved by us"
violates other canons.  "We shall have the right but not the obligation to
approve" is less unfortunate.  There  is  no doubt that passives do not
suit business letters,  and if they go all the way through without adding
something like "by  you" or "by us" they are intolerable. 
Once in a long while one may find passives used purposely to leave something 
unresolved.  In those circumstances  they  will be in class with
"negotiate in good faith", which I’ve examined earlier.


Now let’s turn to the practical point of writing
business letters. They  may be divided into official and semi-official. The
first kind of letters is characteristic  of  those  people working in 
business:  an executive,  a department manager,  a salesman, a  secretary  or 
a  specialist  in   business   and technology. But also many people may want to
buy something, to accept an invitation or to congratulate somebody — this  is 
a kind of semi-official letters.  The first kind  of letters may in turn be
subdivided into such groups as:  inquiries, offers, orders, and  so  on.  I 
am  going  to examine this group more carefully looking at the correspondence
of Chicago businessmen and English manufactures.


Example 1.


Ladies’ Clothing

421 Michigan Avenue

Chicago, III.60602


148 Mortimer Street

London WIC 37D

England                                  October 21,


We saw  your  women’s  dresses  and suits at the
London Fashion Show held in New York on October 17.  The lines you showed for
teenagers, the  "Swinger"  dresses  and trouser suits would be most
suitable for our market.

Would you kindly send us your quotation for spring
and  summer clothing that  you  could  supply  to us by the end of January
next. We would require 2,000 dresses and suits in each of  the sizes 10-14, 
and  500 in sizes 8 and 16.  Please quote c.i.f. Chicago prices. Payment is
normally made by letter of credit.

Thank you for an early reply.

Very truly yours,




This is undoubtedly an import inquiry letter. In the
first part of a  letter  there  is  a  kind  of  introduction  as  a
prospective customer  approaches supplier for the first time ,and it  is  from 
this  part  that  we  found  out  that   the correspondents are engaged in
textile industry.

The second   part   expresses   request   for  
detailed information about the goods in question, their prices and terms of
possible transaction.

In this   example   we   come   across  the 
abbreviation concerning the terms of delivery, that is commonly accepted  in
the business  world.  It is interesting to know what this kind of abbreviations

c.i.f. — cost, insurance, freight.

If consignment  is  to 
be  delivered  according to c.i.f., then the supplier insures  the  goods  and
pays for the whole delivery.

f.o.b. — free on board.

If consignment  is  to 
be  delivered  according to f.o.b., then  the  supplier pays for transportation
to port,  steamer or air shipment and dispatch; and the customer  pays  for 
onward  transportation and insurance.

f.o.r. — free on rail.

c & f — cost and freight.

If consignment  is  to 
be  delivered  according to c & f, then the supplier pays for the whole
delivery and the customer — for insurance.

It is worth mentioning here  that  the  whole  letter 
is written in  a  highly  polite  way,  nevertheless  it is quite precise and
sticks to the point.




148 Mortimer Street

London W1C 37D


Ladies’ Clothing

421 Michigan Avenue

Chicago, III.60602                                  
30th October, 1996

Dear Sirs,

We are pleased to make you an offer regarding our
‘Swinger’ dresses and trouser suits in the size you require. Nearly all the
models you saw at our fashion show are obtainable, except trouser suits in
pink, of which the smaller sizes have been sold out. This line is being
manufactured continuously, but will only be available again in February, so
could be delivered to you in March.

All other models can be supplied by the middle of
January 1997, subject to our receiving your form order by 15th of
November. Our c.i.f. prices are understood to be for sealand transport to
Chicago. If you would prefer the goods to be sent by air freight, this will be
charged extra at cost

Trouser suits sizes 8-16 in white, yellow, red,
turquoise, navy blue, black

Sizes 12,14 also in pink                      per 100

Swinger dresses sizes 8-16

in white, yellow, red, turquoise, black           per
100 $1,845.00

You will be receiving price-list, cutting of our
materials and a colour chart. These were airmailed to you this morning.

Yours faithfully,


Export Department


As you can clearly see it we face  the  second  phase 
of business correspondence  —  the  answering letter.  It is very important,
because it adjusts the  relationships  between  two partners. It does not only
characterise the company,  but also advertises it.  The purpose of the letter
is to  persuade  the partner that you are the best in business.

This letter  contains  the  quotation  in  reply  to  
an inquiry. In lots of similar letters the quotations are simply prices and
another information asked for.  But this sample  is quite the  opposite:  it 
shows  the  customer that he met the sales-cautious businessman,  who  uses 
every  opportunity   to stimulate his   correspondents   interest   in  his 
goods  by including the  sales  message. And  the  assurance  that   the
customer will  receive  personal attention is read between the lines. In order
to draw the attention of the customer  to  the products in  question  the 
supplier  offers  "cuttings of our materials and a colour chart".  On
the whole a firm  offer  is subject to  certain  conditions,  a deadline for
the receipt of orders, or a special price for certain quantities.

Example 3.

A business  transaction often starts with an inquiry
which may later be followed by an order.

Both inquiry  and  order are meant to arose and
stimulate business activity on the part of recipient. They are typically asking
letters.  Orders  convey  the  writer’s intention to do business with his
correspondent,  usually to  buy  some  goods from them.


Ladies’ Clothing

421 Michigan Avenue

Chicago, III.60602


148 Mortimer Street

London W1C 37D                                      November
4, 1996


Thank you for your quotation of October 30. We have
pleasure in placing an order with you for

1,900 ‘Swinger’ dresses                             at
Price: $38,745

in the colours and sizes specified below:

































Delivery: air freight, c.i.f., Chicago

We shall open a letter of credit with your bank as
soon as we receive your order acknowledgement. Please arrange for immediate
collection and transport since we need the dresses for Christmas.

Very truly yours,

P. Wilson


It is indisputably an import order,  and as we can
notice placing orders is simple from the  point  of  view  of  letter writing.
The  fact  is  that usually the purchasing department or the buyer  fills  in 
an  order  form.  But  in  this  case the correspondent  prefers  to write a
letter in order to make certain points  quite  clear.   There   are   special  
import regulations which  are touched upon in the last paragraph:  it is
necessary to complete formalities and  to  stress  delivery instructions.

It should  be  mentioned  here  that  the  supplier
must send order  acknowledgement as an answer to order promptly  to thank his
customer for the order and to confirm it.

If some conditions have  changed,  the  customer 
must  be notified. In   the  case  the  goods  ordered  are  no  longer
available, a substitute may be offered.

Example 4.

What follows the order acknowledgement is the  advice 
of dispatch.


148 Mortimer Street

London W1C 37D


Ladies’ Clothing

421 Michigan Avenue

Chicago, III.60602                    

Dear Sirs:

We have pleasure in notifying you that your credit was
confirmed by our bank yesterday, 19th November. We have had the 1900
‘Swinger’ dresses collected today for transport by British Airways to Chicago
on 25th November.

Enclosed is our invoice for the goods in question plus
the extra charges for air freight, packing list to facilitate customs clearance
at your end, certificate of origin, air waybill and insurance policy.

Hoping that this initial order will lead to further
business, we are

Yours faithfully


Export department

The first  thing  to be done before writing such a
letter is to examine carefully whether the partners account is  valid or not. 
So in the first paragraph we come across phrase "your credit was confirmed
by our bank yesterday".  Air shipment for "Swinger" dresses is
also mentioned here.

The next paragraph deals with  the  documents  which 
are necessary while   importing   goods:  Invoice  packing  lists, certificate
of origin, air waybill and insurance policy. As it is the  initial  order  by 
MATTHEWS  &  WILSON,  the  GRANT & CLARKSON hopes to encourage them to
place further  orders,  so their last phrase sounds very polite.

Example 5

No matter  how  efficient  a  business  firm tries  to
be, mistakes will happen.  There might be a misunderstanding about the goods  
to  be  supplied;  sometimes  the  consignment  is dispatched too late or
delays are caused in transit; defect is discovered when  the equipment is put
into operation and so on.

Therefore a letter with the complaint expressed is


Ladies’ Clothing

421 Michigan Avenue

Chicago, III.60602                      November 22,


148 Mortimer Street

London W1C 37D


Thank you for your delivery of ‘Swinger’ dresses which
were ordered on November 4. However we wish to draw your attention to two

Of the red dresses supplied one lot of 100(size 12)
included clothes of a lighter red than the other sizes. Since we deliver a
collection of various sizes to each store, it would be obvious to customers
that the clothes are dissimilar. In addition the red belt supplied does not
match these dresses. We are returning two of these by separate mail, and would
ask you to replace the whole lot by 100 dresses size 12 in the correct colour.

As far as your charges for air freight are concerned,
we agree to pay the extra costs which you invoiced. However your costs for
packing and insurance must have been lower for air cargo, and we request you to
take this fact into consideration and to make an adjustment to the invoice
amount. Would you please send us a rectified invoice, reduced accordingly.

We look forward to your dealing with these questions
without delay.

Very truly yours.


If this   kind   of   letter  is  sent  the  customer 
is understandably annoyed,  nevertheless there  is  no  reason  to write an 
angry letter of complaint.  In the EXAMPLE 5 there are two complaints:  the
first is about the "Swinger"  dresses colour and  the second — about
the fact that air freight seems too expensive to MATTHEW & WILSON.

From this  letter  we see that the results are better
for the correspondent takes the trouble to explain  his  complaint clearly and
proposes ways in which matters can be put right.

Example 6.

Letters that  are  written  in  response to claims may
be called adjustments. These letters are among the most difficult to write  as 
they  require  under all circumstances patience, tact, and diplomacy.  You will
not lose your customer  if  you react at his claim promptly.


148 Mortimer Street

London W1C 37D


Ladies’ Clothing

421 Michigan Avenue

Chicago, III.60602                   2nd
December, 1996

Dear Sirs:

The colour of the dresses about which you complain is
indeed lighter than it should be. Apparently this was overlooked by controller
responsible. Please accept our apologies for the oversight.

We are sending you a new lot by air this week, and
would ask you to return the faulty clothes at your convenience, carriage
forward. Alternatively you may keep this lot for sale as seconds at a reduced
price of &1,120.

You are perfectly correct in saying that packing and
insurance costs are normally less for cargo sent by air. May we remind you,
however, in this case your request to send the goods by air was made at very
short notice. It was not possible for us to use the lighter air freight packing
materials, as most of the dresses were ready for shipment by sea freight
(please see our letter of 9th November). Furthermore, our insurance
is on an open policy at a flat rate, and depends on the value of the goods, not
the method of transport. For these reasons our invoice No.14596 dated 15th
November 1996 is still valid, and we look forward to receiving your remittance
when due.

Yours faithfully



The suppliers  show  their understanding of situation
and express their willingness to adjust it.  They say exactly what steps they
are going to take,  because a disappointed customer cannot be put off with mere
apologies — he is entitled to  know how the mistake will be remedied.  The
supplies convince their partners that they are really interested in 
maintaining  good will. They  try  to  avoid negative statements,  and what
even worse, accusations;  they  never  forget  that  it  is   their customer
who keeps them in business.

Even when they  write  their  customers  about 
rejecting their claim  on air freight,  they try to give logical reasons for
the refusal.


The conclusion  that  therefore  suggests  itself is
that writing of business letters is highly complicated science.  It is not 
enough  for  a  good  business  letter writing to know lexics and grammar,  but
you should comprehend the whole range of such things as: occasions on which the
particular letter is written, the style of letter, useful expressions, and
accepted idioms.

There are certain rules which not everybody  could 
learn since they  have  to  be  felt by correspondents.  Letter writing
requires long practice and experience.  Those who write letters should always
remember,  that what makes the letter attractive and therefore  promotes 
one’s  business  is  not  always  the message of the letter, but it is the
manner and style in which the message is written.

The "golden rule" that must be followed by
every business correspondent is that the official letter  should  be  formal,
courteous, tactful, concise, expressive, and to the point



1.WINCOR, RICHARD Contracts in plain English


Научная и деловая корреспонденция

3.GOWERS, ERNEST The complete plain words


Основы деловой переписки


Добавить комментарий

Ваш адрес email не будет опубликован. Обязательные поля помечены *