Exercise Select Words with FURY

Use the FURY principle to select powerful words as you revise Amanda's E-mail to add some pizzazz.

Amanda, a human resources manager for a large steel manufacturer, needed to send an E-mail to supervisors informing them that performance appraisals were due by November 15.

"It's boring," she explained, "and I couldn't think of how to add a little pep to such an ordinary business communication." Here's Amanda's original E-mail:

To all supervisors:

All performance appraisals are due by Nov. 15. If you have any questions about how to fill out the forms or do the in-person component of the appraisal, you should read the FAQ section on the company intranet.

Amanda, ext. xxxx

Which word or words would you identify as boring? What synonyms can you list? Revise the E-mail to add some excitement.

Amanda said, "I decided to see if I could replace three words and phrases: fill out, do, and read. I went to the word-finder tool on my computer and came up with what I think were terrific replacements for them. It's amazing to me how simply changing a couple of words results in such improvement. And it was easy to do!" Here's Amanda's revised E-mail:

To all supervisors:

All performance appraisals are due by Nov. 15. If you have any questions about how to complete the forms or conduct the in-person component of the appraisal, you should consult the FAQ section on the company intranet.

Amanda, ext. xxxx

What's your assessment of Amanda's revision? Is complete a better choice than fill out? How about conduct instead of do? Is consult stronger than read? Notice that Amanda's original words were fine; most people, however, think that her revision is better.

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