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Archive for August 2012



Ex- marks the spot. Go beyond, go out on a limb, go outside your comfort zone. Get some extra excitement by using these vivid verbs starting with the syllable ex-:

1. Exacerbate: to make worse
2. Exact: to call for and obtain (“exact revenge”)
3. Exaggerate: to overemphasize or overstate
4. Exalt: to glorify or intensify
5. Examine: to inspect, investigate, or scrutinize
6. Exasperate: to aggravate or enrage
7. Excavate: to remove or expose by digging or as if by digging
8. Exceed: to be greater than or to go beyond a limit or normal boundary
9. Except: to keep out or to object
10. Excerpt: to take out or select, especially writing, for other use
11. Exchange: to trade
12. Excise: to remove by cutting or as if by cutting
13. Excite: to arouse or stimulate
14. Exclaim: to cry out passionately or vehemently
15. Exclude: to bar, or to prevent entrance or inclusion
16. Excogitate: to devise
17. Excommunicate: to bar from membership
18. Excoriate: to abrade or censure
19. Excrete: to discharge or eliminate
20. Excruciate: to torture
21. Exculpate: to clear of blame or fault
22. Excuse: to forgive or remove blame from or to justify or make an apology for
23. Execrate: to denounce
24. Execute: to carry out or perform
25. Exemplify: to embody or make an example of
26. Exempt: to set apart or release from a requirement
27. Exenterate: to disembowel
28. Exercise: to practice, train, or put to use
29. Exert: to put forth effort
30. Exfoliate: to cast off or remove
31. Exhale: to breathe out
32. Exhaust: to wear out
33. Exhibit: to show or demonstrate
34. Exhilarate: to refresh or stimulate
35. Exhort: to appeal to or to warn
36. Exhume: to disinter or to rectify neglect
37. Exile: to drive out
37. Exist: to continue to be or to have being
39. Exit: to go out
40. Exonerate: to reverse an accusation
41. Exorcise: to get rid of an evil spirit or something troublesome
42. Expand: to enlarge or spread
43. Expatiate: to wander, or to communicate at length
44. Expatriate: to banish, or to withdraw from residence or allegiance
45. Expect: to await or to suppose
46. Expectorate: to discharge or spit
47. Expedite: to cause to occur quickly, or to dispatch or issue
48. Expel: to eject
49. Expend: to spend, use up, or utilize
50. Experience: to learn or sense by direct participation or observation, or to undergo
51. Experiment: to test or try
52. Expiate: to absolve of guilt, or to make amends
53. Expire: to conclude or die, or to breath out
54. Explain: to make something known or understood or demonstrate knowledge or understanding
55. Explicate: to describe or analyze
56. Explode: to burst or give forth, or suddenly accelerate or increase
57. Exploit: to utilize, or to take advantage of knowledge
58. Explore: to analyze, investigate, or study, or to test or travel
59. Export: to carry, remove, or send
60. Expose: to make known, to show, or to subject to the elements or to view
61. Exposit: see expound
62. Expostulate: to discuss or examine
63. Expound: to argue, comment, or state
64. Express: to force out, to show, or to symbolize, or to offer feelings or opinions or to perform in order to demonstrate artistry and/or communicate creative material
65. Expropriate: to deprive of property or take another’s property for one’s own
66. Expulse: see expel
67. Expunge: to destroy or to strike out
68. Expurgate: to remove something objectionable
69. Exscind: to cut off or out
70. Exsert: to throw out
71. Exsiccate: to dry
72. Extemporize: to improvise
73. Extend: to put or send out
74. Extenuate: to mitigate or to reduce strength or effect
75. Exteriorize: to bring out from inside (as in surgery)
76. Exterminate: to get rid of or kill
77. Externalize: to rationalize, or to make manifest
78. Extinguish: to eclipse, nullify, or quench
79. Extirpate: to cut out, destroy, or uproot
80. Extol: to glorify or praise
81. Extort: to wring from, to obtain from by argument or intimidation
82. Extract: to draw out, remove, or select
83. Extradite: to deliver a fugitive from one jurisdiction to another
84. Extrapolate: to infer, expand on, or predict
85. Extravasate: to cause to escape, or to force out (as in surgery)
86. Extricate: to free or remove from difficulty, or to distinguish from
87. Extrude: to press or push out, or to shape
88. Exuberate: to demonstrate unrestrained joy
89. Exude: to diffuse or spread out, or to display obviously
90. Exult: to rejoice

by Mark Nichol at http://www.dailywritingtips.com/90-verbs-starting-with-ex/


If you work in an office, you probably write emails every day – to colleagues, to your boss, to clients. Even if you’re still at college, you’ll need to email your lecturers once in a while (maybe to plead for an essay extension, or to ask for help) – and many employers now expect resumes and cover letters to be sent by email.

So, being able to write a professional, business-like email is a crucial skill. Daily Writing Tips has already covered the email subject line, but the body of your message also matters.

1. Start with a salutation

Your email should open by addressing the person you’re writing to. Sure, you can get away with leaving out the salutation when you’re dashing off an email to your friend, but business-like messages should begin with:

  • Dear Mr Jones, or Dear Professor Smith, (for someone you don’t know well, especially if they’re a superior)
  • Dear Joe, or Dear Mandy, (if you have a working relationship with the person)

It’s fine to use “Hi Joe”, “Hello Joe” or just the name followed by a comma (“Joe,”) if you know the person well – writing “Dear Joe” to one of your team-mates will look odd!

2. Write in short paragraphs

Get straight to the point – don’t waste time waffling. Split your email into two to four short paragraphs, each one dealing with a single idea. Consider using bullet-points for extra clarity, perhaps if you are:

  • Listing several questions for the recipient to answer
  • Suggesting a number of alternative options
  • Explaining the steps that you’ll be carrying out

Put a double line break, rather than an indent (tab), between paragraphs.

3. Stick to one topic

If you need to write to someone about several different issues (for example, if you’re giving your boss an update on Project X, asking him for a review meeting to discuss a payrise, and telling him that you’ve got a doctor’s appointment on Friday), then don’t put them all in the same email. It’s hard for people to keep track of different email threads and conversations if topics are jumbled up.

4. Use capitals appropriately

Emails should follow the same rules of punctuation as other writing. Capitals are often misused. In particular, you should:

  • Never write a whole sentence (or worse, a whole email) in capitals
  • Always capitalise “I” and the first letter of proper nouns (names)
  • Capitalise acronymns (USA, BBC, RSPCA)
  • Always start sentences with a capital letter.

This makes your email easier to read: try retyping one of the emails you’ve received in ALL CAPS or all lower case, and see how much harder it is to follow!

5. Sign off the email

For short internal company emails, you can get away with just putting a double space after your last paragraph then typing your name. If you’re writing a more formal email, though, it’s essential to close it appropriately.

  • Use Yours sincerely, (when you know the name of your addressee) and Yours faithfully, (when you’ve addressed it to “Dear Sir/Madam”) for very formal emails such as job applications.
  • Use Best regards, or Kind regards, in most other situations.
  • Even when writing to people you know well, it’s polite to sign off with something such as “All the best,” “Take care,” or “Have a nice day,” before typing your name.

6. Use a sensible email signature

Hopefully this is common sense – but don’t cram your email signature with quotes from your favourite TV show, motivational speaker or witty friend. Do include your name, email address, telephone number and postal address (where appropriate) – obviously, your company may have some guidelines on these.

It makes it easy for your correspondents to find your contact details: they don’t need to root through for the first message you sent them, but can just look in the footer of any of your emails.

Putting it all together

Compare the following two job applications. The content of the emails are identical – but who would you give the job to?

i’ve attached my resume i would be grateful if you could read it and get back to me at your earliest convenience. i have all the experience you are looking for – i’ve worked in a customer-facing environment for three years, i am competent with ms office and i enjoy working as part of a team. thanks for your time


Dear Sir/Madam,

I’ve attached my resume. I would be grateful if you could read it and get back to me at your earliest convenience. I have all the experience you are looking for:

  • I’ve worked in a customer-facing environment for three years
  • I am competent with MS office
  • I enjoy working as part of a team

Thanks for your time.

Yours faithfully,

Joe Bloggs

by Ali Hale at http://www.dailywritingtips.com/email-etiquette/


August 2012
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