The following words can make you come across as insincere or dishonest. Remove them from your outbound messages pronto:
• Formally. Example: “I’d like to formally introduce myself.” It’s just one of those stodgy words that comes across as cold and impersonal. Omit it altogether.
• Unfortunately. Example: “Unfortunately, your package was lost in the mail.” That can trigger readers’ anger because it implies “This bad thing happened and you have no control over it.” Instead, clearly state the problem, and then explain how you to plan to resolve it.
• Regrettably. Example: “Regrettably, we will not be able to fulfill your order.” The word “regret,” or any form of it, should be used during times of deep sadness. When it is used elsewhere, it comes across as overly dramatic and fake.
• Statistically. Example: “Statistically, we beat all the other guys.” That doesn’t mean anything to the reader. Instead, provide the actual statistic.
— Adapted from “10 Trigger Words to Ban From Your Emails,” John Brandon, Inc., www.inc.com.