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April 01, 2019


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Jean Moroney

Great, Lynn. :-)

Seriously, the contrasting rewrites show the value of precise word choice. They demonstrate exactly what you said: that the university president looked like he didn't know his own university.

Michele Fideler

Most of you know and appreciate what an excellent university this is, with a diverse faculty, well-rounded programs, unique traditions, and a stellar reputation. And as exceptional as our university has been. . . .

Rae-Ann Knapp

Just don't take their creative writing course.

Business Writing Blog

Jean, so nice to hear from you! I am guessing that language precision is essential in the thinking strategies you teach.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Business Writing Blog

Hi Michele,

Nice! In the schools I was thinking of, diverse faculty and well-rounded programs did not come to mind. I enjoyed reading your description.

Thanks for sharing your work.


Business Writing Blog

Rae-Ann, thanks for that clever point. I was thinking about whether this topic falls under both creative and business writing. Indeed it does. The president's article included a pitch for financial contributions. He needed better editorial support to make his pitch more specific and meaningful.


Virginia Sowell

Most of you know and appreciate what a world-class university this is, with an esteemed faculty, in-demand programs, strong traditions, and a stellar reputation. And as outstanding as our university has been. . . .

Business Writing Blog

Hi Virginia,

I especially like your esteemed faculty, in-demand programs, and strong traditions. I admire the specificity beyond greatness!

Thanks for playing.


Christie Rears

Most of you know and appreciate what a unique university this is, with expert faculty, multifaceted programs, time-honored traditions, and a long-standing reputation. And as acclaimed as our university has been...

Business Writing Blog

Christie, these are excellent, distinctive adjectives. I especially appreciate "expert" and "time-honored." Thanks for sharing your work.



Great.. :D Really helpful.



Most of you know and appreciate what a welcoming university this is, with a top-rate faculty, sought out programs, deep traditions, and a stellar reputation. And as great as our university has been. . . .

Laura Hobbs

If this article was a pitch for contributions from supporters, the president missed the most important thing about writing: know your audience!

I believe it would be more effective directed more personally to the reader. "YOU support a world-class university with a top faculty, etc." I believe people are more likely to contribute money when they feel emotionally invested.

Tamara DeBose

I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the examples listed. Each time I read this blog, I learn something. Thank you!

Kathi Valentino

Most of you know and appreciate what an exceptional university this is, with a distinguished faculty, innovative programs, robust traditions, and an enviable reputation. And as remarkable as our university has been. . . .

Business Writing Blog

Hello Senna, Mimi, Laura, Tamara, and Kathi,

Thanks for your comments!

Senna, "great" is the first word we think of, isn't it? That's why I'm suggesting the 24-hour great-free challenge. I'm glad you found the piece helpful.

Mimi, I like your "deep traditions." I had not thought of that one, and it works perfectly. Something I'd like you to think about is your first adjective, "welcoming." Because it has the primary place in the sentence, the other adjectives should echo it, at least somewhat. It's not quite the right lead-in for what follows, but it's a good, specific adjective on its own.

Laura, I agree. The all-important emotional appeal was missing in the piece. I think the president was trying to be low key, but his message came across as bland.

Tamara, I always appreciate your thoughtful words.

Kathi, those are powerful, consistent adjectives, creating a strong opening sentence for the president's article. Thanks for sharing them.


Tina Jones

Most of you know and appreciate what a _great____ university this is, with a _highly qualified____ faculty, _diverse____ programs, _solid____ traditions, and an _untarnished____ reputation. And as _awesome____ as our university has been. . . .

Lakshmi Kannambra

Absolutely enjoyed this !Just yesterday I received a "great"for something I had done and I went huh!:)

Business Writing Blog

Hi Tina,

I like your specific adjectives, which paint a picture and can come across as sincere to the audience.

Thanks for joining in.


Business Writing Blog

Hi Lakshmi,

I'm glad you were great! It makes me wonder whether in this instance you were savvy, persistent, inventive, persuasive, or another kind of great.



This is my try.

Most of you know and appreciate what a renowned university this is, with a modern faculty, appealing programs, strong traditions, and a high reputation. And as prestigious as our university has been. . . .

How did I go? I'm afraid it sounds a bit pretentious but in my defense I don't know any actual university and English is a second language to me. So I thought most of the words in my language first and then looked for the best translation on various resources.

Business Writing Blog

Hi Debby,

You made some good word choices. "Renowned university," "appealing programs," and "strong traditions" make sense.

"Modern faculty" is not good phrasing. "Modern" is not typically applied to groups of people. Yes, you can say "modern woman" or "modern building," but "modern faculty" is not common usage.

"High reputation" is also not typical. Note some of the other words people used.

Good luck with your work learning English!



Thanks for reviewing my text! Choosing the right adjective is one of the hardest parts of learning a foreign language. I whish there was a vocabulary that paired nouns with adjectives!

Business Writing Blog

Debby, that vocabulary sounds like an excellent idea. For learning Spanish, I use an online dictionary called Span¡shD!ct (and Duolingo). I always read the sample sentences to determine which words work together for native speakers.


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