Are you one of those people who read the label on the back of your beer?
Well, if you are, then there could be a business writing lesson in it for you.
Over the weekend I looked at the back of my beer and read the following:
“Dubbed the “Oscars of the brewing industry” Castle Lager celebrates the recognition of Master Brewers worldwide that rewarded our legacy of brewing excellence with the “World’s Best Bottled Lager” in 2000.
This closely guarded secret home grown recipe has been passed down over the last 12 decades and today our perfectly balanced; thirst quenching brew is still enjoyed across the African continent.”
There are several business writing lessons in these few words but we will only look at the subordinate clause in the first sentence.
Merriam Webster defines a subordinate clause as “a clause that does not form a simple sentence by itself and that is connected to the main clause of a sentence”.
In the first sentence the subordinate or subsidiary clause is “Dubbed the “Oscars of the brewing industry”‘. Before we understand what is trying to be said here, we have to keep seven words in our mind and then find out that master brewers recognise the beer worldwide.
Wouldn’t it be more clear if a comma was placed after “Dubbed the “Oscars of the brewing industry”? Then the sentence would read as follows:
Dubbed the “Oscars of the brewing industry”, Castle Lager celebrates the recognition of Master Brewers worldwide that rewarded our legacy of brewing excellence with the “World’s Best Bottled Lager” in 2000.
This, by the way, is still what is called an over-loaded sentence. Let’s take the part of the sentence with the most important thought (the beer receiving an award) and give it prominence.
Castle Lager’s legacy of brewing excellence was recognised in 2000 by Master Brewers worldwide with the honour of the “World’s Best Bottled Lager”. The awards are dubbed the ‘Oscars of the brewing industry’.”
What you do think? Is this more readily understandable?
Enough for one day. We will have a look at some of the other faulty areas next time.
For a hint of other lessons, take a look at the second sentence where a semi colon has been inserted for punctuation.
The Better Business Writing Course has a short lesson on self-editing that will enable you to quickly grasp basic self-editing tips and techniques so that your writing is clear and effective.
For more information contact Chesney Bradshaw at email@example.com or 0832697304.
Chesney Bradshaw has more than 30 years business experience in commerce and industry including business writing, producing magazines, writing coaching, corporate communications and sustainability management. His course Better Business Writing can be found at https://business-writing-academy.teachable.com/