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Thread: Could you please help me with this sentence?

  1. #1
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    Could you please help me with this sentence?

    Hi there, I understand that this is a highly sophisticated forum and I apologise beforehand if this query is not posted in the right section.

    I've been trying to write a sentence as part of a short bio description, I've spent quite some time perfecting it, yet I just can't get this one sentence right. That's why I decided to ask the professionals, you guys . Here's the sentence:

    "His integrity and high quality standards were the core principles of his business conduct, as enshrined in our company motto he adopted: ‘Esse quam videri’ – To be, rather than to seem."


    I could simply say "were at the core" and move on, but I want to keep the word 'principles', then again 'standards' and 'principles' don't seem compatible. The best I came up with is:

    "His integrity and commitment to quality were the core principles of his business conduct, as enshrined in our company motto he adopted: ‘Esse quam videri’ – To be, rather than to seem." However, I do use the word 'commit' in the next sentence where it fits perfectly and it's not ideal to use it here. Any ideas how to put it better guys? I look forward to your suggestions.

    Here's the entire paragraph (I replaced 'committed' with 'true'):

    Sir Jacob Behrens’ integrity and commitment to quality were the core principles of his business conduct, as enshrined in our company motto he adopted: ‘Esse quam videri’ – To be, rather than to seem. We remain true to the ethos once fostered by our founder and woven into the very fabric of our organisational culture. Our reputation for excellence is a reflection of that very culture, built on a tradition of trusted products, faultless service and an unwavering belief in authenticity.
    Last edited by GeorgeP; 07-19-2016 at 05:41 AM.

  2. #2
    flash fiction fatale heartwing's Avatar
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    Would this be a way to approach it? Break the sentence up a bit? You could hang more material on the second sentence in terms of qualifying or clarifying or explaining. Or maybe not. Your first sentence does a lot of this. The second sentence seems to be a pretty good way to transition to your explanation of the corporate culture. This is probably as much as I have to offer coming in cold and not knowing the context.

    Sir Jacob Behrens’ integrity and commitment to quality were the core principles of his business conduct. He actively embodied our company's motto - 'Esse quam videri" - to be, rather than to seem...
    “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” ― Muriel Rukeyser
    (image: walking by crilleb50, deviantArt)

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    Thank you for your response. That's a good suggestion. My issue is that most sentences are around the 28-30 word mark. The shortest being 20. If I change it the way you suggested, it would become the shortest sentence in the text, 16 words. Isn't that a problem in terms of the overall balance and style? Here's a link to the entire text btw: behrens.co.uk/about-us/our-heritage/

    Also, this doesn't resolve my query as I'm trying to find better wording for 'His integrity and commitment to quality were the core principles of his business conduct'

    Any suggestions are much appreciated though, thanks.
    Last edited by GeorgeP; 07-19-2016 at 08:49 AM.

  4. #4
    flash fiction fatale heartwing's Avatar
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    Thanks. This is beautiful copy.

    Shorter sentences are appropriate sometimes. A text with sentence variety can be impactful. And short, declarative sentences can deliver more than sentences which may be trying to carry too much in one fell swoop. But alas, I have responded in a way that is not helpful.

    What if you simply say, at the beginning of this statement "His integrity and commitment to quality were core to his business conduct..." Principles and standards are the subtext.

    Just a thought. My tendency, if there is a perception of difficulty, is to strip things away and see if a statement can stand on its own with less that is explicit. I am giving an example to rub up against. It is good to have the back and forth to help decide what sounds best, what to keep, what to throw away, what to change. It is good to be in process.
    “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” ― Muriel Rukeyser
    (image: walking by crilleb50, deviantArt)

  5. #5
    Registered User North Star's Avatar
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    How about 'Integrity and quality were Sir Jacob Behrens' core principles, enshrined in the company motto he adopted: ‘Esse quam videri’ – To be, rather than to seem.'

  6. #6
    flash fiction fatale heartwing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by North Star View Post
    How about 'Integrity and quality were Sir Jacob Behrens' core principles, enshrined in the company motto he adopted: ‘Esse quam videri’ – To be, rather than to seem.'
    I would still rework slightly.
    Last edited by heartwing; 07-19-2016 at 11:03 AM.
    “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” ― Muriel Rukeyser
    (image: walking by crilleb50, deviantArt)

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    Thanks heartwing, that's quite the compliment given that I'm neither a copywriter nor a native English speaker.

    I must say, these suggestions are very helpful. I want to keep 'principles' as a buzzword to convey and stress that he was a principled man. In other words, to indirectly suggest that he would never compromise his integrity or quality. I'll certainly have a think.

    North Star, rewording it like that already looks better. Still, 'quality' in itself is not a principle, which is why I added 'commitment to quality', but then I'm trying to avoid using commitment, if possible. Thanks for your suggestions, much obliged.

  8. #8
    flash fiction fatale heartwing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeP View Post
    Thanks heartwing, that's quite the compliment given that I'm neither a copywriter nor a native English speaker.

    I must say, these suggestions are very helpful. I want to keep 'principles' as a buzzword to convey and stress that he was a principled man. In other words, to indirectly suggest that he would never compromise his integrity or quality. I'll certainly have a think.

    North Star, rewording it like that already looks better. Still, 'quality' in itself is not a principle, which is why I added 'commitment to quality', but then I'm trying to avoid using commitment, if possible. Thanks for your suggestions, much obliged.
    Anytime. I edited my earlier remarks that were a response to North Star. That second clause he is suggesting is dependent.

    I can certainly appreciate the buzzwords. Just trying to aid in the wording and structure if I can.

    Well wishing.
    “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” ― Muriel Rukeyser
    (image: walking by crilleb50, deviantArt)

  9. #9
    Registered User DATo's Avatar
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    Sir Jacob Behrens’ integrity and commitment to quality reflected the core principles of his business conduct

  10. #10
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    Sir Jacob Behrens enshrined a principle in our company motto: ‘Esse quam videri’ – To be, rather than to seem.
    It's still not quite human, though.







    J
    Last edited by Jack of Hearts; 07-23-2016 at 02:27 AM.

  11. #11
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    well, I already use 'reflect' later in the paragraph

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeP View Post
    Sir Jacob Behrens’ integrity and commitment to quality was the core of his business conduct, as represented in our company motto he adopted: ‘Esse quam videri’ – To be, rather than to seem. We remain true to the ethos once fostered by our founder and woven into the very fabric of our organisational culture. Our reputation for excellence is a reflection of that very culture, built on a tradition of trusted products, faultless service and an unwavering belief in authenticity.
    Edited sentence above.

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