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You Can Write Better English

English is the language of international commerce and communication. Young professionals working in Hong Kong and doing business with the rest of the world are more likely to conduct that business in English than in any other language. Employers nowadays are accordingly looking for people with a good level of English.

You Can Write Better English is a practical handbook to help improve written English, with special focus on mistakes native Chinese speakers routinely make when writing in the language.

Ford Burkhart, former New York Times and AP foreign desk editor, calls the book "a delight, offering a seasoned writer's advice backed up with examples from many years in the classroom with native speakers of Chinese. By writing down his wisdom with a clear, authoritative voice, Barry Kalb has earned a place on the shelf beside Fowler, Orwell and Strunk and White."

Kalb, the author, has taught reporting and news writing at the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre since 2005, emphasizing the basics of good English writing. His work with hundreds of Chinese from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia has given him an insight into the problems native Chinese speakers encounter when trying to write the language. "You Can Write Better English" is an easy-to-follow guide to correcting these problems.

Kalb started his journalism career in Washington, D.C., in 1967. He was a CBS News correspondent in Hong Kong, then joined TIME Magazine as Eastern Europe bureau chief, and later moved with TIME to Rome, New York and back to Hong Kong. After a detour into the restaurant business, he served as an editor at the Voice of America's Hong Kong bureau. Stories he has covered include the Watergate scandal in Washington, the deaths of Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong in China, the beginnings of the Solidarity movement in Poland, and the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in Rome.

You Can Write Better English is published by Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong in association with Hong Kong University Press, and it can be ordered at

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