Discussion Topic 1: Many errors have been made in business because people didn’t proofread numbers carefully enough. For example, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line listed a $1,399 cabin online for $139. Starwood Hotels left a zero off a price, thereby offering a $850 bungalow for just $85. United Airlines accidentally listed a $2,500 ticket for just 25 cents. And Texas Women’s University transposed two numbers in a phone number; instead of reaching the TWU Admissions Department, students called a sex hotline instead! Why do you think it is important to proofread numbers carefully for accuracy? Why do you think errors like these are made? Share your thoughts with your classmates. If you have any related personal experiences, share those too.
Discussion Topic 2: The currency of the United States is the dollar, represented by the dollar sign ($). Other countries use different currencies represented by different symbols. Choose a country and do research to determine the name of the country’s currency and its currency symbol. Report your findings to your classmates.
Discussion Topic 3: In this chapter you learned that the United States uses date and time formats that are different from those used in much of the world. Choose a country and research its accepted date and time formats. Share your findings with your classmates. In addition, discuss what problems can result from the use of different date and time formats around the world.
Discussion Topic 4: In his book On Writing, the author Stephen King wrote, “One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones.” What do you think Stephen King means by this? How can you apply this advice to your own professional writing? Share your thoughts with your classmates.
Discussion Topic 5: The American writer Mark Twain once said, “I have always tried hard and faithfully to improve my English and never to degrade it. I always try to use the best English to describe what I think and what I feel, or what I don’t feel and don’t think.” Why do you think Mark Twain believed so strongly in using English properly? Do you agree? How has this class changed the way you will use English in your personal and professional lives? Share your thoughts with your classmates.
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