Revising a Memo for You -Attitude

We are happy to announce that the renovation of the lobby is not behind schedule. By Monday, October 9, we should be ready to open the west end of the lobby to limited traffic.
(First of all, eliminate all the uses of “we” throughout the letter. Don’t just substitute the company name or I; instead focus on what the reader will get. Don’t talk about feelings, so “happy” has to go. The word “not” is negative; eliminate it! Now, ask yourself, what does the reader want to know and need to know? In the second sentence, this writer has “should” on himself, not a pleasant sight, I should say…. Okay, enough with the bad humor, the sentence contains the word “limited,” another negative word. Instead, the reader probably wants to know WHEN the lobby will open and WHO can use the lobby by that date.)
The final phase of the renovation will be placing a new marble floor in front of the elevators. This work will not be finished until the end of the month.
(Now you can add detail. Describe the marble floor with precise words. You can also use actions instead of the word “be” in both sentences. Remember the lessons from week 2 about using precise words and action verbs? Review these to give you hints on what to write for this paragraph. You’ll also find a link that provides you with a a list of action verbs. You might want to print out the list. Finally, that negative word “not” appears. Remember the reader. He or she wants to know the finish date of the lobby.)
We will attempt to schedule most of the work during the evening so that normal business will not be disrupted.
(Doesn’t “attempt” seem unclear? Also, you’ll learn next week that many words beginning with “dis” are negatives, and you don’t want to use negatives if you don’t have to; instead, focus on what the reader
do. Try writing a sentence that begins with “You can….”)
Please exercise caution when moving through the construction area. The floor will be uneven and steps will be at unusual heights. Watch your step to avoid accidental tripping or falling.
(To me, this seems like a lot of emphasis on negatives. Yes, negatives exist, but you can de-emphasize negatives. You can also just your reader know–simply, clearly, and briefly.

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