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Grammar Repair Shop: Liven up your language

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Steering clear of business gibberish isn’t easy, since everybody in corporate America uses it. By “gibberish,” we mean the vague language that takes up space but doesn’t say much.

Even in business writing, this rule holds true: Your writing always will be stronger and clearer when you use specific, everyday words to paint a picture. Throwing in phrases such as “per our agreement” will not make you sound more professional. Instead, try to think of how you might speak to the person, if he were sitting across from you.

Example: “Due to circumstances beyond our control, the copier is malfunctioning and cannot be used today.”

Better: “The office experienced an electrical surge, and the copier won’t turn on today.”

Example: “I would appreciate it if you would give the proposal your urgent attention and telephone me when you have reviewed the questions listed.”

Better: “Please call me after reviewing the proposal.”

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