Writing at Work: Do's, Don'ts and How To's by Ernst Jacobi (Ten Speed Press, P.O. Box 7123, Berkeley, Calif. 94707: $7.95).
Let's hear it for the semicolon. Let's settle that who/whom debate forever. Down with buzz words, cliches, obfuscation and "smoggy" prose. And two cheers, at least, to Ernst Jacobi for producing this impressive guide to writing reports, memos, business or solicitation letters, technical papers and resumes--most everything in the English language except fiction.
Rule one, Jacobi insists, is "woo" your reader as you would a lover. It follows that writing should never bore, and among the many attention-getting strategies he suggests are developing a definite point of view (a perspective), finding a theme and consciously using specifics. Spelled as the acronym RED--the use of reasons, examples and details, as most conscientious writers know--leavens even the flattest prose.
Other ways to develop an anti-snooze style is to read aloud what you've written, to find a helpful editor--even in the case of initial rejection--and practice "pruning, clarification and condensation."