Writing Effectively with Appropriate Phrases

This essay analyzes and compares four sets of sentences and judges them on effectiveness and appropriateness.  The first set’s sentence is, “You did not do very well on that test.”  This sentence is a frank, direct assessment of the results of a test, and it implies that the student is capable of better performance.  An instructor would be acting appropriately if she used this sentence.  The other sentence in this set is, “You bombed that exam.”  This assessment is colloquial, insensitive and inappropriate coming from a formal instructor.  However, if this same assessment was delivered from a student’s peer, it might be appropriate and perhaps even humorous.The second set of sentences is, “Your hospital tests do not look promising,” and “I’m afraid you are going to die in the near future.”  The former sentence is an appropriate and direct delivery of poor medical news that a healthcare provider might deliver to an ailing patient.  It informs the patient of his grim prognosis, but in a compassionate and professional manner.  The latter sentence could only be delivered by the most insensitive of healthcare providers.  It completely lacks compassion for the patient’s dire circumstances, and it serves to eliminate any hope that the terminally ill patient may harbor.  This sentence is wholly inappropriate.The third set is, “The operation cost us 100 troops”, and “One hundred of our men were killed in the battle.”  The former sentence lacks the dignity and gravity that these military deaths deserve; it is inappropriate and disrespectful to the fallen soldiers.  The latter sentence, while delivering the same unfortunate message, is much more appropriate and fitting.  It imparts a sense of deep loss and implies that the deceased soldiers were part of a respected family.The final set of sentences is, “I’m not sure you are up to this particular assignment,” and “You’re not smart enough to do this assignment well.”  The former sentence is an appropriate admonishment that might be delivered by a superior to a subordinate.  It gets the message across without rudeness and insensitivity.  The latter sentence is inappropriate and judgmental.  It rudely presumes a lack of intelligence and it would never be uttered by a business professional.