Make your writing simple, informal and direct. Become passionate about lapses in those simple principles. Ban them from all your writing.

A few examples...

'I am writing to you regarding your email' (not simple and too formal) 'Thank you for your email.'

'...ascertain the location of...' (not simple) 'find'

'a number of...' (not direct - almost meaningless) Try 'eight'. If you really want to say it's a small number, but can't be exact, maybe 'several'.

'when and if..' (not simple) Make a choice: 'when' or 'if'.

'as far as we are concerned' (not simple) Maybe, 'we believe', or just state it.

'we would like to apologise' (not simple or direct) 'we apologise'

'exact opposite (not simple) 'opposite'

'please find attached' (not simple and too formal) Maybe, 'I have attached' or better, 'The attachment summarises/outlines/describes/will show you...'

'...enclosed for your perusal' (perusal is a formal, pointless word. We are not sending a document so they can light a fire.)

'...for your consideration' or '...for your convenience' ( too formal and not simple - more pointless words)

'to conduct an investigation...' (not simple) 'to investigate'

A suggestion

Once your passion for simple, informal, direct language grows, resist the urge to share it with the world. We'll know it's a big issue, but most people will just think you should get out more.


Interested in a workshop on business writing for your team?