Monday, November 1, 2010

A business letter worth admiring

There are a few things in this letter I would correct: deeply-valued shouldn't have a hyphen; the men's names should have probably appeared in the same order throughout; and the family may be close, but there does need to be a space in "TheOrton." All in all, though, I thought the letter was wonderful. The message was warm and sincere, despite the sentimental content, and the picture of the company that emerged was solid.

I was especially happy to see that
  • the right case (objective) was used in "No matter whom you're shopping for this holiday season";
  • parallelism was preserved in "you'll find truly unusual gifts that evoke happy days, promote warm feelings, and bring a beaming smile to the face";
  • a hyphen was used in the adjectival compound "a family-owned business";
  • no comma separated adjectives in "special young person";
  • no comma appeared before the restrictive clause "when young ones raced downstairs"; and
  • that was used to denote the restrictive in "a family and a tradition that have endured."
The diction of the letter is also deserving of mention, I think: cherished; authentic; precepts of ardent, honest customer service; gratitude for…kindness, privileges, and opportunities. And note that three sentences toward the end begin with we:
  • We will celebrate being part of a family and a tradition that have endured through hard work, frugality, imagination, and ingenuity. [The last four nouns are nothing special by themselves, but together they are fresh and strong.]
  • We will celebrate the vast and growing audience of customers who today are part of that tradition, expanding it through their own deeply-valued stories and memories.
  • We are delighted to welcome you to this tradition and to our family.
When the reader finally gets to "Enjoy!" the exclamation point does seem fitting.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Hi Pat,

Thank you for taking the time to post this.