Theory has its place, but an example often makes learning something much easier. In many areas, an example of a mistake or poor quality is an even more effective teacher than examples of the correct technique so here is such an example to learn from…
When we talk or write, we understand the flow of ideas behind our words. Sometimes, however, others can’t see the same connections and our words may confuse or mislead.
For example, I recently read 'contacted by phone and email on the same day' in some competition terms.
It seems somewhat unnecessary to state the contact will be made on the same day – why would anyone expect it to be on different days? If one contact was a follow up of the other, that would be stated so ‘contacted by phone and email’ is concise and easy to understand.
But what if the writer meant something else?
The previous point in the terms was about drawing the winner. So perhaps ‘on the same day’ means ‘on the day we draw the winner’.
For absolute clarity, just add the date instead of ‘on the same day’. Easy!
Winners will be contacted by phone and email on 1 July 2013.