Lynda McDaniel, author of Words @ Work, and a business-writing columnist for Examiner.com, argues that most business writing should be written as if intended for a friend. Just as we would never utilize hyperinflated terminology when endeavoring to communicate with a pal, we shouldn’t risk losing a business message in corporatespeak or federaleze. That sort of nonsense is generally intended to either impress someone with our knowledge or hide our lack of it.
From my own experience, both in academia and business, I would certainly agree. A straightforward message—whether a term paper about The Brothers Karamazov or a business report about SEO trends—tends to impress with its clarity.
One thing Ms. McDaniel points out that I hadn’t really considered is how this strategy helps to remove the sting from complaint messages we write. Following this advice, we’ll have less cause to regret a hastily sent message that was written in the passion of the moment. Excellent advice!