A birthday present for you!

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girl-taking-dictation - close crop

Write this down!

Actually, it’s my birthday so I have completely restructured my e-School and Proofreading prices for the rest of 2014! I’ve cut the prices almost in half, compared to 2013!
Proofreading is now only £25 (€30) per thousand words!
E-school is now only £25 (€30) per hour!
Now, don’t tell me your company can’t afford to invest at these prices!

Contact me at malcolm.pemberton@gmail.com

How Much Money is There on Earth?

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This is a really great video. It opens our eyes to how things work 🙂

How to Write Great Emails – read the intro

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The Challenge

Badly-written emails reflect on the writer and the company they represent. At worst, they can lead to lost sales, lost reputation and even legal action. Well-written emails can do the opposite – they can enhance your reputation, your company’s image and boost revenue.

Photo copyright Dreamstime.com - used with permission

Photo copyright Dreamstime.com – used with permission

Read the whole introduction HERE

How to use hire, rent and lease

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Renting a Boat

Renting a Boat (Photo credit: kathleenleavitt)

First of all, hire and rent are often interchangeable, but not always. So, for example, car rental and car hire are the same thing, and the names of the companies that offer short-term vehicle hire or rent reflect this. Car leasing is different and refers to a long-term agreement, often over years, between the leasor (the owner of the vehicle) and the leasee (the person who will use the vehicle).

Vehicles etc are advertised as ‘for hire‘.
Buildings etc are advertised as ‘for rent‘.

Equipment is usually hired out to those who need it (not rented).

People are hired by companies and individuals to do work. This can mean long or short term, and as an employee or as a contractor. For example:
The company has received a big order and is now hiring production workers (relatively long-term, as employees).
We have received more orders than usual, so we are hiring agency workers to help out (short-term workers from an external agency).
The old lady could no longer look after her garden, so she hired a gardener (as a contractor).
We cannot talk about renting people, it sounds negative and de-humanising.

Buildings can be rented or leased (rent is more informal). The landlord (owner) makes a rental agreement or draws up a lease with the tenant (user) of the building. Both the landlord and the tenant are bound by the terms of the rental agreement or lease, and these usually include giving notice before terminating the agreement. Notice would, perhaps, be one month’s advance warning of the tenant leaving the premises, and probably a much longer time should the owner wish to terminate.
Rented property is referred to formally as leasehold, and property you own is referred to as freehold.


Talking about wages and salaries

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Disclaimer: This is a language guide, not a taxation guide. For accurate tax information, contact your local tax department.

Although the words ‘wage‘ and ‘salary‘ are often interchanged, this is how they should be used:

Wages are paid to hourly-paid workers, and may be paid daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly, although fortnightly seems most common these days. They are nearly always paid in arrears (i.e. after the work has been done). The minimum wage is the smallest hourly rate allowed by government regulation, or by a trade union within a particular industry.

Salaries are paid to workers who have a regular monthly amount, and may be paid partially in advance, and partially in arrears.

Both wages and salaries may be supplemented by overtime pay and bonuses.

I can say that I am on an hourly wage, or that I am on a monthly salary.

Sales people often have a basic salary, with sales commissions paid periodically.

Travel expenses and mileage allowances may be paid monthly – limits are set by the tax department (e.g. €0.45 per km in Finland).

I incur travel expenses during the month. I then fill in and submit a travel expenses claim sheet, and am reimbursed (paid back) the following month.

Non-taxable items are not part of wages or salaries, and can be paid at the discretion of the company.

Taxable benefits include company cars, phones and lunches. Their value is taxed as if they were earned income, like wages and salaries.

Unearned income includes items like interest from investments, and inheritances. Each type of unearned income is usually taxed by a fixed percentage rate.

How to write money amounts


Each Euro coin has a common side and a national side. Courtesy - Wikipedia

Each Euro coin has a common side and a national side. Courtesy – Wikipedia

As usual this is a quick guide, so I hope you easily find what you are looking for.

Currency symbols (€, £, $ etc) should be placed before the number, with no space, like this:
He earned €30,000 last year (spoken – thirty-thousand euros).
You can get a fast food meal for as little as $5 or $5.00 (spoken – five dollars) – if there are no cents then the zeros are unnecessary, but can be added for emphasis.
The software upgrade costs £99.99 (spoken – ninety-nine pounds ninety-nine pence).
Finland’s GDP in 2012 was $198.1 billion (spoken – one hundred and ninety-eight point one billion dollars).

Currency abbreviations, used in a formal report or newspaper writing,  (EUR, GBP, USD etc) should be placed before the number, with a space, like this:
The turnover of the company last year was EUR 354,345 (spoken – three-hundred and fifty-four thousand, three-hundred and forty-five euros).
In the year 2000, the people of the US spent USD 110 billion on fast food (spoken – a hundred and ten billion dollars).
The company turnover in 2012 was MEUR 15 (spoken – fifteen million euros).

Thousands should be separated by commas, like this:
Henry just won €5,540,280 on the lottery (spoken – five million, five-hundred and forty thousand, two-hundred and eighty euros) . 
The average gross monthly salary in Finland is €2,901 (spoken – two-thousand, nine-hundred and one euros).

Decimals (cents, pennies etc) should be separated by a dot/point/full-stop (whatever you want to call it), like this:
The book cost €12.99 (spoken – twelve euros, ninety nine cents – or just – twelve ninety-nine).
NOTE: If you are not talking about money then say – twelve point nine nine.

The percentage symbol follows directly behind the number, with no space, like this:
Corporate tax in Finland has just been reduced to 20%.

Did you find what you were looking for?
If not, then please ask your question via comments.

The Mathematics of Money

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500 euro notes

Probably the most fashionable word in the business world at the moment is ‘resources’. We talk about energy resources, raw material resources, human resources and, of course, financial resources. This does give the impression that they are all pretty similar and to be used wisely, as they are all, apparently scarce. My purpose in writing this little essay is to actually pinpoint some of the ways in which these resources are not quite so similar as we are led to believe, particularly financial resources.

Money is a somewhat different resource in this way – all the money in all the world is already owned by someone. READ MORE

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