Beat the Rake with Fergus and Juanita

As promised, I have created another exercise for you. I was inspired by the many of you who use WordRake and have written to tell us you play a game called “Beat the Rake.” (We never outgrow that part of our childhood: making anything a game is the spoonful of sugar.) The idea here is to challenge yourselves to make every edit you think WordRake would make, then turn on WordRake and see if it finds anything else. If you don’t have WordRake yet, you can use the 7-day Free Trial at www.wordrake.com/trial, (PCs only, at least until later in 2017) or click the "ANSWER" link below, and we will show you the raked document, so you can check your editing. This exercise will help you tighten your writing.

 

Remember that the WordRake software won’t check your spelling, typos, or subject-verb agreement, and it doesn’t care how long you write your sentences. It’s looking for words sitting around, doing nothing but hindering your effort to communicate. When you finish editing the email below, see how you've done by clicking the "ANSWER" link. Now break a leg, and let us know how you do. May the best editor win.

_________________________________________________________________________________

To: Fergus Finnegan O’Malley McCracken
Cc: Akifah Mahmud, Genevieve Margaux
Subject: Juanita’s faux pas on St. Paddy’s Day


I appreciate your insight, Fergus, but let’s go ahead and meet Friday anyway to talk further about this incident. I still don’t understand what it was that possessed Juanita to climb onto the table, but it was her performance there that shocked her supervisor, Akifah Mahmud, not to mention Chairman González. In an effort to understand, I have discussed the incident with Ms. Mahmud; she has some suspicion with respect to Juanita’s motive, but we all are in agreement in regards to company guidelines: that they should provide solutions to problems like Juanita’s; however, only a few of these guidelines are truly applicable. More on those in a moment.


If Juanita had only danced, perhaps we all could have looked the other way (actually and figuratively), but what she decided to do was bend over and tell the chairman to “Kiss my Blarney Stone.” It is here that you have been a big help to us: I gather there is an Irish myth that if one visits the castle and kisses the stone, one will “receive the gift of eloquence.” Now we have an idea of what it was that she was thinking when she told the chairman, “I will have you speaking in tongues.”


The purpose of this email is to explain to you at a deeper level why Juanita’s actions pursuant to Section 18 of the Guidelines have caused serious concern for the Board. We like Juanita, but our silence on this matter would be an indication that we condone her conduct. On the other hand, I understand from you that on St. Patrick’s Day all Lenten restrictions are lifted from food and drink, and that perhaps this is what caused Juanita to be engaged in drinking too much green beer.


Personally, I enjoyed her rendition of “Don’t Fence Me In,” but in fact she definitely was in violation of the provisions of Section 18 when she pinched the chairman for not wearing green and called him “an adorable little leprechaun.” Last, I agree with you that she should never have handed him the shamrock and told him he might get lucky. It seems to me that her judgment might be slightly out of kilter.


Our in-house counsel, Genevieve Margaux, has reviewed the incident, and her report makes reference to Section 18. There are two other sections that help to resolve this situation: Section 13 allows all employees to practice their religion. Although Patrick was a Saint, I doubt that Juanita’s actions would qualify pursuant to this section. Section 17 states in relevant part that all employees may freely and openly celebrate their heritage and culture, but that seems not to apply here where Juanita is from Guatemala.


Company guidelines have a requirement that we convene the board first. But a lot of the time what happens is that the board members review an incident cursorily and immediately make a decision to act against the employee. The board members aren’t as close to the situation as we are, and it should be noted that Juanita has been with the company for a very long time. During the course of her employment, she has been perhaps our most popular employee, and at 82, she is unlikely to start a new career.


I am in the process of reviewing all documents involving Juanita’s employment, but in an effort to help her, you should plan on meeting with Ms. Margaux to explain the significance of the Blarney Stone and the import of kissing it. I will ask Ms. Margaux the ways in which she plans to proceed, and I will ask Juanita her thoughts at the time she mounted the table.


If it is her intention to remain here, Juanita has several options. First, what she wants to do is write a letter to the board. The notion of speaking to them in person terrifies her, but I believe that that would also help. Maybe she prefers to say nothing in the hope that the board will forget her actions.


I look forward to talking with you on Friday, Fergus. Thank you for your help. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call.


Peter Principle III
Director of Human Resources

ANSWERS

________________________________________________________________________________

First Edits

To: Fergus Finnegan O’Malley McCracken
Cc: Akifah Mahmud, Genevieve Margaux
Subject: Juanita’s faux pas on St. Paddy’s Day

 

I appreciate your insight, Fergus, but let’s go ahead and meet Friday anyway to talk further about this incident. I still don’t understand what it was that possessed Juanita to climb onto the table, but it was her performance there that shocked her supervisor, Akifah Mahmud, not to mention plus Chairman González. In an effort to To understand, I have discussed the incident with Ms.Mahmud; she has some suspicion with respect to suspects Juanita’s motive, but we all are in agreement in regards to regarding company guidelines: that they should provide solutions to solve problems like Juanita’s; however, only a few of these guidelines are truly applicable. More on those in a moment.

If Juanita had only danced, perhaps we all could have looked the other way (actually and figuratively), but what she decided to do was bend over and tell the chairman to “Kiss my Blarney Stone.” It is here Here that you have been a big help to us: I gather there is an Irish myth that if one visits Blarney Castle and kisses the stone, one will “receive the gift of eloquence.” Now we have an idea of know what it was that she was thinking when she told the chairman, “I will have you speaking in tongues.”

The purpose of this email is to explain This email explains to you at a deeper level why Juanita’s actions pursuant to under Section 18 of the Guidelines have caused serious concern for the board. They like Juanita, but their silence on this matter would be an indication that matter would indicate that they condone her conduct. On the other hand, I understand from you that on St.Patrick’s Day all Lenten restrictions are lifted from food and drink, and that perhaps this is what caused this caused Juanita to be engaged in drinking drink too much green beer.

Personally, I enjoyed her rendition of “Don’t Fence Me In,” but in fact she definitely was in violation of violated the provisions of Section 18 when she pinched the chairman for not wearing green and called him “an adorable little leprechaun.” Last, I agree with you that she should never have handed him the shamrock and told him he might get lucky. It seems to me that her Her judgment might be slightly out of kilter.

Our in-house counsel, Genevieve Margaux, has reviewed the incident, and her report makes reference torefers to Section 18. There are two Two other sections that help to resolve this situation: Section 13 allows all employees to practice their religion. Although Patrick was a Saint, I doubt that Juanita’s actions would qualify pursuant to under this section. Section 17 states in relevant part that all employees may freely and openly celebrate their heritage and culture, but that seems not to apply here, where Juanita is from
Guatemala.

Company guidelines have a requirement that we require that we convene the board first. But a lot of the time often what happens is that the board members review an incident cursorily and immediately make a decision to act decide to act against the employee. The board members aren’t as close to the situation as we are, and it should be noted that Juanita has been with the company for a very long time. During the course of her employment During her employment, she has been perhaps our most popular employee, and at 82, she is unlikely to start a new career.

I am in the process of reviewing all documents involving Juanita’s employment. In an effort to To help her, you should plan on meeting with Ms. Margaux to explain the significance of the Blarney Stone and the import of kissing it. And I will ask Ms. Margaux the ways in which how she plans to proceed. I will also ask Juanita what she was thinking at the time she when she mounted the table. 

If it is her intention to she intends to remain here, Juanita has several options. First, what she wants to do is write a letter to the board. The notion of speaking Speaking to them in person terrifies her, but I believe that that would also help. Maybe she prefers to say nothing in the hope that hoping the board will forget her actions.

I look forward to talking with you on Friday, Fergus. Thank you for your help. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call call me.


Peter Principle III
Director of Human Resources

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Additional Edits

After you accept the WordRake edits, we recommend you always rake your document a second time: some edits lie hidden beneath others. Note also that WordRake is a collaborator, working with you to draw your eye to potential edits and occasionally relying on you to refine – as you see in the second paragraph.

To: Fergus Finnegan O’Malley McCracken
Cc: Akifah Mahmud, Genevieve Margaux
Subject: Juanita’s faux pas on St. Paddy’s Day

I appreciate your insight, Fergus, but let’s meet Friday anyway to talk further about this incident. I still don’t understand what possessed Juanita to climb onto the table, but it was her performance there that shocked her supervisor, Akifah Mahmud, plus Chairman González. To understand, I have discussed the incident with Ms. Mahmud; she suspects Juanita’s motive, but we all are in agreement regarding all agree on company guidelines: that they should solve problems like Juanita’s; however, only a few are applicable. More on those in a moment.

If Juanita had only danced, perhaps we all could have looked the other way (actually and figuratively), but she decided to bend bent over and tell the chairman to “Kiss my Blarney Stone.” Here you have been a big help to us: I gather there is an Irish myth that if one visits Blarney Castle and kisses the stone, one will “receive the gift of eloquence.” Now we know what she was thinking when she told the chairman, “I will have you speaking in tongues.”

This email explains to you at a deeper level why Juanita’s actions under Section 18 of the Guidelines have caused serious concern for the board. They like Juanita, but their silence on this matter would indicate that they condone her conduct. I understand from you that on St. Patrick’s Day all Lenten restrictions are lifted from food and drink, and that perhaps this caused Juanita to drink too much green beer.

Personally, I enjoyed her rendition of “Don’t Fence Me In,” but she definitely violated Section 18 when she pinched the chairman for not wearing green and called him “an adorable little leprechaun.” Last, I agree with you she should never have handed him the shamrock and told him he might get lucky. Her judgment might be slightly out of kilter.

Our in-house counsel, Genevieve Margaux, has reviewed the incident, and her report refers to Section 18. Two other sections help to resolve this situation: Section 13 allows all employees to practice their religion. Although Patrick was a Saint, I doubt that Juanita’s actions would qualify under this section. Section 17 states that all employees may freely and openly celebrate their heritage and culture, but that seems not to apply here, where Juanita is from Guatemala.

Company guidelines require that we convene the board first. But often the board members review an incident cursorily and immediately decide to act against the employee. The board members aren’t as close to the situation as we are, and Juanita has been with the company for a long time. During her employment, she has been perhaps our most popular employee, and at 82, she is unlikely to start a new career.

I am reviewing all documents involving Juanita’s employment. To help her, plan on meeting with Ms. Margaux to explain the significance of the Blarney Stone and the import of kissing it. I will ask Ms. Margaux how she plans to proceed. I will also ask Juanita what she was thinking when she mounted the table. 

If she intends to remain here, Juanita has several options. First, she wants to write a letter to the board. Speaking to them in person terrifies her, but I believe that that would also help. Maybe she prefers to say nothing hoping the board will forget her actions.

I look forward to talking with you on Friday, Fergus. Thank you for your help. If you have questions, please call me.

Peter Principle III
Director of Human Resources

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Final

To: Fergus Finnegan O’Malley McCracken
Cc: Akifah Mahmud, Genevieve Margaux
Subject: Juanita’s faux pas on St. Paddy’s Day

I appreciate your insight, Fergus, but let’s meet Friday anyway to talk further about this incident. I still don’t understand what possessed Juanita to climb onto the table, but her performance shocked her supervisor, Akifah Mahmud, plus Chairman González. To understand, I have discussed the incident with Ms. Mahmud; she suspects Juanita’s motive, but we all agree on company guidelines: that they should solve problems like Juanita’s; however, only a few are applicable. More on those in a moment.

If Juanita had only danced, perhaps we all could have looked the other way (actually and figuratively), but she bent over and told the chairman to “Kiss my Blarney Stone.” Here you have been a big help to us: I gather there is an Irish myth that if one visits Blarney Castle and kisses the stone, one will “receive the gift of eloquence.” Now we know what she was thinking when she told the chairman, “I will have you speaking in tongues.

This email explains to you at a deeper level why Juanita’s actions under Section 18 of the Guidelines have caused serious concern for the board. They like Juanita, but their silence on this matter would indicate that they condone her conduct. I understand from you that on St. Patrick’s Day all Lenten restrictions are lifted from food and drink, and that perhaps this caused Juanita to drink too much green beer.

Personally, I enjoyed her rendition of “Don’t Fence Me In,” but she definitely violated Section 18 when she pinched the chairman for not wearing green and called him “an adorable little leprechaun.” Last, I agree with you she should never have handed him the shamrock and told him he might get lucky. Her judgment might be slightly out of kilter.

Our in-house counsel, Genevieve Margaux, has reviewed the incident, and her report refers to Section 18.
Two other sections help to resolve this situation: Section 13 allows all employees to practice their religion.
Although Patrick was a Saint, I doubt that Juanita’s actions would qualify under this section. Section 17 states that all employees may freely and openly celebrate their heritage and culture, but that seems not to apply here, where Juanita is from Guatemala.

Company guidelines require that we convene the board first. But often the board members review an incident cursorily and immediately act against the employee. The board members aren’t as close to the situation as we are, and Juanita has been with the company for a long time. During her employment, she has been perhaps our most popular employee, and at 82, she is unlikely to start a new career.

I am reviewing all documents involving Juanita’s employment. To help her, plan on meeting with Ms. Margaux to explain the significance of the Blarney Stone and the import of kissing it. I will ask Ms. Margaux how she plans to proceed. I will also ask Juanita what she was thinking when she mounted the table. 

If she intends to remain here, Juanita has several options. First, she wants to write a letter to the board. Speaking to them in person terrifies her, but I believe that that would also help. Maybe she prefers to say nothing hoping the board will forget her actions.

I look forward to talking with you on Friday, Fergus. Thank you for your help. If you have questions, please call me.


Peter Principle III
Director of Human Resources

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Gary Kinder
Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for the American Bar Association, the Social Security Administration, PG&E, Kraft, Microsoft, and law firms like Jones Day, Sidley, and WilmerHale. His critically-acclaimed Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea hit #7 on the New York Times Bestsellers List.

In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake editing software to provide writers a full-time, reliable editor; to save them time and money; and to give them the confidence their writing is as clear and concise as they can make it. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has awarded nine patents to WordRake's unique technology, and Harvard Law School has recognized WordRake as "Disruptive Innovation."