Seminar –Workshop on how to avoid language errors in official documents held

by Christine Godinez Ortega

 Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol

Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol emphasized the significance of IIT’s Communications Group by calling it the “circulatory system” of the Institute, and hailed as a “significant event” its holding of the Seminar-Workshop on “Avoiding Language Errors in Official Issuances and Review on Process Flow and Institute Policies and Matrix” held on August 12-13, 2014 at the Boardroom and at the HRM Laboratory.

The Chancellor not only welcomed participants to the seminar-workshop, but he presented his own proposed functional and flow chart of administrative and academic personnel within the MSU-IIT.

He urged the participants of the seminar-workshop—composed of mostly staves from the Institute’s major offices—to do competent and complete staff work in the processing of official documents before submitting these to the Office of the Chancellor (OC). Tanggol also encouraged the group to identify problems encountered in the flow of documents, especially since MSU-IIT “has grown”.

“There is room for improvement” he said in reference to the process flow, particularly how and where to send official communications. Tanggol said problems should be threshed out in relation to the Institute’s responsiveness on whether or not management has delivered the goods to its clients and whether or not the clients were “happy” with these.

At the same time, and apart from responsiveness, the Chancellor talked about the significance of the staff in the “organic line of functions”, even as he emphasized the values of efficiency and effectiveness in serving clients in relation to the Institute’s rules and its goals. He said that “regional competitiveness hastens global competitiveness.”

During the seminar, brief lectures were delivered by the faculty of the Department of English, College of Arts & Social Sciences (CASS): Professors Honeylet E. Dumoran, Sittie Noffaisah B. Pasandalan, and Lynnie Ann P. Deocampo; and, on “Institute Policies and Matrix” by Dominico Jumawid of the OVCAA and a “Review on Financial Matters and their Control” by Armilyn K. Abragan of the OC.

Dumoran talked on “Language Conventions and the Common Language Errors contained in Special Orders (SOs) issued from January to March 2014” and on “Avoiding Discourse Errors in Parallelism, Clausal Modification, Diction and the Use of Prepositions”.

Dumoran, who studied several months’ worth of SOs, revealed that an average of four errors attended each of the SOs issued from January to March 2014. These errors include unusual use of syntax; unusual use of lexicon in formal documents; non-use and wrong use of punctuation; non-use of articles; and the non-use and wrong use of prepositions. She said the syntactic errors were minimal.

From March to June 2014, a comparative study of the SOs and their drafts were made. Dumoran found that the number of errors dropped “significantly”.

According to Dumoran, the dramatic drop in the number of errors was indicative of an intervening factor, i.e., presence of an editor.

Pasandalan, for her part, lectured on “Avoiding Writing Convention Errors in Punctuation, Capitalization, and Abbreviations, while Deocampo gave tips on “Avoiding Congruence Errors on Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement, Subject-Verb Agreement, Number-Agreement and on Article Use.

The seminar-workshop’s chair and convenor, Rex G. Ortega, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, gave a review of the communications flow of documents from various key offices to the OC and, he gave a brief presentation on problems in communications along with statistics on the wastage of paper and ink and effort when flawed documents move from one office to another.

The enthusiastic response of the participants to follow the suggested templates especially for the SOs was agreed upon during the last day of the seminar-workshop.

Ortega said that a major output of the seminar-workshop is the publication of a Stylebook of Usage and Standard Format that will aid in the production of error-free Special Orders and other official issuances in the future. By Christine Godinez Ortega for OC-OPI

Topics : seminar  workshop