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10.01 Introduction

The underlying principle of all forms of communication, not just letter writing, is the following: say what you have to say clearly and succinctly (see Chapter 13 Plain Language, "Plain Language"). The layout of the document should be such that the reader can quickly determine who the sender and intended recipient are, when the document was written or sent, what it is about, and what follow-up, if any, is required of the recipient.

Since the first edition of The Canadian Style was written, the personal computer has replaced the typewriter. This has had an impact on not only formatting, layout and editing but also the method of communicating written information itself. Hence a section on Electronic Mail has been included at the end of this chapter.