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Chapter 1

Reference
Skills

10th Edition, © 2011, Cengage Learning


Orientation
How to Study Business English
Before reading a chapter
1. Set aside a quiet time and place to study.
2. Examine the chapter objectives.
3. Take the chapter pretest; check your answers.

As you read a chapter


1. Use a marker to highlight important concepts.
2. Write questions in margins to ask in class.
3. Study examples and illustrations.

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-2
Orientation
How to Study Business English
After reading a chapter
1. Review the passages you highlighted.
2. Ask yourself whether you understand the
concepts presented.
3. Take the posttest; compare with pretest.
4. Complete Exercise A of the reinforcement
exercises. If you have more than three
incorrect responses (out of ten), reread the
chapter.
5. Finish all the assigned exercises before
returning to class.

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-3
What is Business English?
Business English is the study of language
fundamentals needed to communicate
effectively in today's workplace.
These fundamentals include the following:
• Grammar • Capitalization
• Usage • Number style
• Punctuation • Spelling/Vocabulary

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-4
Why study Business English?
• To refresh rusty skills
• To feel confident in using the language
• To succeed in a workplace where increasing
emphasis is placed on oral and written
communication

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-5
Can you become an expert?
Yes, you can become an expert by learning
where to find answers. You will need these
books:

• A current college-level or desk dictionary


• A good office reference manual
• Your textbook

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-6
Types of Dictionaries
 Electronic dictionaries
◦ At Web sites
◦ On CD-ROM programs
◦ In word processing programs
◦ In handheld digital devices
 Pocket dictionaries
◦ May contain up to 75,000 entries
◦ Serve as handy—but incomplete—
references

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-7
Types of Dictionaries
 College-level or desk dictionaries
◦ May contain up to 200,000 entries
◦ Are “abridged” (shortened)
◦ Often include extra features such as language,
geographical, biographical, and measurement data.
 Unabridged (complete) dictionaries
◦ May contain up to 450,000 entries
◦ Are used by professional writers, scholars
◦ May be found in libraries, schools, editorial offices

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-8
Ten Important Points
in Using
Your Dictionary

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-9
1. Read the introduction to your dictionary.
Determine the order of definitions.
2. Use the guide words at tops of pages to help
you locate words.
3. Learn to distinguish among the following:
• Centered dots to show syllable breaks:
selfless
• Hyphens to show hyphenated words:
self-conscious
• Space left between words to indicate
separate words:
word processing

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-10
4. Use diacritical marks to help you
pronounce a word correctly. A summary
of these special symbols is usually found
at the bottom of each set of dictionary
pages.

For example, how would you


pronounce this word?
_ _
i rate (an irate taxpayer)

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-11
5. Study a word’s accent marks to learn
which syllable to stress. Primary accent
marks may precede or follow a stressed
syllable.
ob ser ‘va tion (Webster’s New Collegiate)
ob ser va’ tion (American Heritage)

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-12
6. Examine a word’s etymology (word
history).
• Dictionaries that emphasize etymology
place it before the definitions.
• Square brackets [ ] enclose the word
history.
• Don’t confuse etymological definitions
with entry definitions.

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-13
7. Note what part of speech a word is. Parts of
speech are usually italicized and abbreviated.

What do you think these abbreviations mean?


How can they help you learn about a word?

adj prep
adv pron
conj v or vb
interj vt or tr. v.
n vi or intr. v.

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-14
8. Labels are used in some dictionaries to
warn readers about appropriate usage.
Here are some common labels:
• archaic: words surviving from a previous
period, such as affright (terror)
• col. or inf. (colloquial or informal):
used in casual writing or conversation,
such as the word deadhead for a sluggish
person
• slang: very informal language, but may be
used for effect, such as Chill, dude!

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-15
8. Labels (continued)
• Nonstandard or substandard: not
conforming to usage among educated
speakers, such as ain’t or irregardless
• dial (dialect) or Brit., West., Scot:
used in certain regions, such as the word
bonnet to mean car hood.

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-16
9. Inflected forms are word forms that
change when they are used differently in
sentences, e.g., the past tense of a verb.
Most dictionaries show only irregular
changes in nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

Nouns: woman, women


Verbs: go, went, gone
Adjectives: good, better, best

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-17
10. Synonyms and antonyms are often
provided.
Synonyms: words with similar meanings

ignorant — unaware (synonym)

Antonyms: words with opposite meanings

condemn — exonerate (antonym)

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-18
Plugging in to
Electronic Dictionaries
Electronic dictionaries are useful to do
the following:

 Locate misspelled words


 Find synonyms and antonyms
 Spell check your documents

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-19
Accessing Online Dictionaries

Online and other high-tech dictionaries


are useful to do the following:

 Access up-to-date vocabulary


 Learn new words
 Perform language translation
 Hear audio pronunciations

Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-20
Reference Manuals
Reference manuals contain helpful information
not found in dictionaries, such as the
following:
 Punctuation is explained in rules accompanied by
examples.
 Hyphenation rules are provided for dividing words
and for constructing compound words.
 Capitalization rules are stated and illustrated.
 Number style is shown.
 Commonly confused words are compared.
 Abbreviations and acronyms are listed and defined.
Chapter 1, Guffey-Seefer, Business English, 10e, Copyright 2011 Cengage Learning, All Rights Reserved 1-21