Re: Us Vs UK English, How Relevant?

Subject: Re: Us Vs UK English, How Relevant?
From: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 11:05:28 -0700

With the writing I do, it's not so much a matter of the reader possibly
misunderstanding the content. Instead, it's a reflection of how directly
I'm targeting my reader. I do sales proposals and sales-oriented technical
documents. When I send these documents to customers or prospective
customers, it's important that I make it clear I understand them, their
problems, and their needs.

One of the most basic ways to do so is to also show that I understand some
of the cultural differences, and that MY company is taking on the task of
accommodating those differences, rather than expecting them to. As most
Americans who've traveled abroad have found, Americans are often known for
expecting everybody to adapt to them, and not vice versa, a methodology
some find less than charming.

So in my case, where I'm trying to win and/or keep customers, it's
important to show my company's sensitivity and cultural awareness. Just
last week I got chastised by a coworker in Australia for sending him a doc
on letter-sized paper rather than A4. He let me know that it would have
reflected poorly on us to have submitted that to our customer, so I
reformatted the doc and sent it back. Then I thanked him for his input - I
had thought only Europe used A4. Live and learn.

Anyway, I'd say yes, this stuff is important, but it depends on your
situation. Just my tuppence.

Keith Cronin

It's great to have a Liberal Arts degree, so you can ask, "Wantest thou
fries with yonder milkshake?" with the proper inflection.

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