RE: Question on direct quotes

Subject: RE: Question on direct quotes
From: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 10:01:58 -0700

This happens a lot in RFPs, which are typically documents that were
written by committees. I use several strategies:

1. Paraphrase, possibly including portions of quoted text (if they're
grammatically intact): "In response to item 4.1.42, which requested an
'estimate of implentation,' our company offers....."

2. Don't quote it. If you don't *have* to quote it, avoid the issue. But
if it's an RFP where you're supposed to input your answers immediately
after the question, there's no avoiding the question, so I'd leave it

3. Clarify the issue when necessary. If you are within the timeframe that
many companies allocate for pre-deadline Q&A, write to them or call them
and ask them to clarify the question, but DO NOT criticize the wording of
the question. Question it; don't deride it. Correct the offending text, as
clarified by the company.

Whatever you do, do NOT alienate them with grammatical criticism. You're
trying to win a deal, not prove your grammatical prowess. I would NOT use
(sic) anywhere in my response.

As for spelling, I'll correct it sometimes during my final spellcheck, but
I do it carefully. If it's a foreign RFP, or uses UK Enlish, I'll leave
THEIR spellings alone, but write MY responses in US English, which is the
(oh-my-gosh-I-can't-believe-I'm-going-to-use-this) *lingua franca* of my
company's primary market. ;)

Hope this helps!

- Keith Cronin


Tech writing. Like poetry, but with a better health plan.

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