《Describing Workload and good news》
（文╱Robert Tolmasoff）Let’s review the correct way to describe two things-workload and news. There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about how to describe workload and news, and this often results in grammatical errors and confusion.
First, let’s start with workload. In English logic, we think of workload as weight, so we describe workload as “heavy” or “light”. See the examples below.
O: He quit his job because of the heavy workload.
O: Since we finished the proposal our workload has been light.
We can also simply state that we have “a lot of work” or “too much work”.
O: I have a lot of work to do this week and will have to work overtime.
O: There is just too much work for one person.
Remember that “overtime” should not be used as a verb; it is only a noun. This is another frequent mistake when describing work situations.
X: We often have to overtime.
O: We often have to work overtime.
Also don’t use “overloaded” or “overloading” when describing workload. The following sentences are incorrect. The most frequent use for “overload” is to describe that too many items are on an object, such as a truck.
X: He quit his job because he was overloaded.
X: Many employees complain about the overloading.
O: The truck tipped over because it was overloaded.
Another mistake occurs when talking about news. The first point is that “news” is not countable in English, and therefore should not take an article. See below.
X: I have a good news for you.
Never place “a” in front of the expression “good news”. The correct way to express this is listed below.
O: I have good news for you.
O: I would like to share with you some good news.
The only time “a” would be placed in front of “news” is if another measure word is used, such as “article” or “story”.
O: I read a good news article last night.
O: I heard a news story saying the weather would be cold next week.
Here, an article is needed because the countable words “story” and “article” are used in the sentence.
Robert Tolmasoff is a trainer, editor, and author based in Taipei. His clients include international companies as well as individuals looking to sharpen their communications skills. Robert’s last two books, 上班族完美英文e-mail輕鬆寫 and 1000 Essential Business English Terms, are available in books stores and from McGraw-Hill Taiwan. Have ideas for future columns or questions? Email Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org
(PHOTO via Samantha T.）