Trim the fat from business writing

In business writing, you don’t receive extra credit for slathering your sentences with fancy phrases, the way you did in college. Do that in a memo, and you can expect eyes to glaze over.

What you cut from your writing is often more important than what you add to it, says Jane Dominguez of The Write Business Advantage. Trim the clutter from business writing with her tips:

1. Cut the fat. For example:
Replace: on a daily basis
With: daily

Replace: until such time as
With: until

Replace: at the present time
With: now

Replace: for the purpose of
With: for

2. Avoid redundancy. For example:

Replace: close proximity
With: near

Replace: basic fundamentals
With: fundamentals

Replace: after the conclusion of
With: after

Replace: absolutely necessary
With: necessary

3. Shun “hedging” words. Either it is or it isn’t. Avoid phrases such as:

“It has been reported that”
“It is generally considered that”
“Contrary to many”

4. Delete phrases that don’t add substance. For example:

“I would like to take this opportunity”
“It has come to my attention that”
“It is interesting to note that”
“As a matter of fact”
“With all due respect”

5. Replace fancy-sounding words with familiar, simple ones that won’t make your readers stumble.

Replace: ascertain
With: find out

Replace: disseminate
With: send out

Replace: consummate
With: complete

Replace: precipitated
With: caused

Replace: nonfunctional
With: broken