93 Extremely Bad Business Writing Habits to Break


Many great writers have commented on this problem.

Here are 10 choice quotes about wordiness:

  1. The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. ~Thomas Jefferson
  2. Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in a few words. ~Apocrypha
  3. When you wish to instruct, be brief. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind. ~Cicero
  4. Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction. ~Albert Einstein
  5. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~Leonardo da Vinci
  6. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. ~George Orwell
  7. The trouble with so many of us is that we underestimate the power of simplicity. ~Robert Stuberg
  8. I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip. ~Elmore Leonard
  9. Use the smallest word that does the job. ~E.B. White
  10. So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads. ~Dr Seuss

How can we fix this?

If you want to be a better writer, break this bad business writing habit. Instead of vomiting meaningless words on the page, take time to think about what you are saying. Remove unnecessary words and phrases. Your reader will probably even read what you have written.

© Amanda Patterson

If you want to improve your business writing skills, join us for The Plain Language Programme.

If you enjoyed this article, read these posts:

  1. Nine Things To Avoid When You Write A Report
  2. The One Essential Email Trick Every Business Writer Should Know
  3. The Top 7 Tips For Writing Emails
  4. Persuasive Writing Brainstormer Template
  5. Six Reasons To Embrace The Power Of Stories
  6. The Seven Points You Need To Build A Story For Your Business

This article has 4 comments

  1. Rogan

    Should one of the habits to break include not writing one thing in the title, and something completely different in the body?

    This is a list of 93 weak phrases to avoid, not 93 bad writing habits to break.

  2. Gerrit

    It depends on context. For our company “in accordance with” means something different to “according to” and “with/by”.

    Everything in moderation, I always say.

  3. phindile

    its good

  4. cleopatra Shoko

    Most informative article

Comments are now closed.