24 Words Or Phrases You Need To Avoid In Your Business Writing

24 Words Or Phrases You Need To Avoid In Your Business Writing


Writers Write is a business writing resource. In this post, we share 24 words or phrases you need to avoid in your business writing.

If we want to write well in business, we need to write simply. Sounding like an academic, a lawyer, or a politician is a bad thing.

Inexperienced writers often make this mistake. They overcompensate for their poor writing skills with pretentious language. They use obscure words and torturous sentence structures.

We should not do this.

Our main purpose when we write in business is to communicate. If we don’t want to do this, we should rather apply to a university, study law, or join a political party. We should:

  1. Never use a big word when a small one will do.
  2. Never use obscure words when familiar ones do the same job.
  3. Never write a long sentence if you can get your message across in a shorter one.
  4. Never use wordy phrases like ‘in the event of’ when you can say ‘if’.

24 Words Or Phrases You Need To Avoid In Your Business Writing

Here are 24 words and phrases that the Plain English Campaign suggests you avoid. The alternatives are included in brackets.

  1. additional (extra)
  2. advise (tell)
  3. applicant (you)
  4. commence (start)
  5. complete (fill in)
  6. comply with (keep to)
  7. consequently (so)
  8. ensure (make sure)
  9. forward (send)
  10. in accordance with (under, keeping to)
  11. in excess of (more than)
  12. in respect of (for)
  13. in the event of (if)
  14. on receipt (when we/you get)
  15. on request (if you ask)
  16. particulars (details)
  17. per annum (a year)
  18. persons (people)
  19. prior to (before)
  20. purchase (buy)
  21. regarding (about)
  22. should you wish (if you want)
  23. terminate (end)
  24. whilst (while)

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

 by Amanda Patterson

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