A Native Latvian, with a firm understanding of the English language, was recently hired as a copywriter for a FinTech start-up. He needs to provide interesting, grammatically correct, and timely content for the company’s social media accounts, and newsletter.
This client’s knowledge of English was firmly related to speaking. He had good pronunciation, and could speak clearly about himself and his company, all while understanding that English can be very different when writing. It is common to break or bend the rules of English grammar when speaking, but these rules are much more rigid when writing.
The majority of this course was completed on-line. Our client was able to send us writing assignments which trained the writing style requested by his superiors to be evaluated and edited. And we were able to provide more than just corrections. We evaluated the style of writing and whether that style followed company policy, we were able to discuss the nuances of English article and tense usage, and comment on the level of formality and directness. In many cases, we provided support in developing a more dynamic and engaging reading experience.
We may say “and” and “but” quite frequently when speaking, but when we are writing we need to find alternatives to keep our readers engaged.
“And” = additionally, furthermore, as well (as), also, moreover
“But” = however, though, although, in contrast, etc.
“Give” = offer, provide, make available
“Help” = assist, aid, offer support, offer guidance
This client corresponded with us multiple times during the week, allowing us to review his terminology, as well as to instruct him on his use of punctuation, specifically the use of commas.
Let’s look at this sentence which describes the FinTech industry in Latvia. As you can see, I have removed any use of commas:
“Fintech is an industry that has had an enormous growth in the past 10 years and even more so in the Baltics. In Latvia alone the fintech industry is valued at $878M Labs of Latvia inform. Whether by cause or by effect the Baltics do not lack fintech startups.”
We will only address one of the commas needed in this sentence, which can be found in the second sentence, which begins “In Latvia alone…”. This sentence has clarifying information at the start of the sentence, which is where we typically have our subject (“the fintech industry”) which performs the verb (“is”). This clarifying information, at the start of the sentence then requires a comma after it (“In Latvia alone, the fintech industry is…”).
This is a rule that we ignore in speaking, often starting a sentence with:
”In Latvia, …”
“At home, …”
”In our office, …”
“Before the meeting begins, …”
Each of these sentences begins with clarifying information, and therefore requires a comma after it so that we clearly know what the subject is.
Our client has been able to prosper in his new career, all while doing so from the comfort of his home and office. We are still in contact, and are able to assist him remotely when and if an issue arises. He has come in, from time to time, to discuss some areas in more detail, but for the most part his ability to address any issue he has is completely within his own hands. He learns independently, and conveniently.