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Abbie Pullman

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Why does business writing have to be formal?

About this project

Jargon is often used as a badge of status, a way to show off – ‘Look at me, I understand the strategic roadmap and key deliverables, aren’t I clever?’. Well, not really! Because you’ve just alienated your reader by making them feel ignorant, incompetent, or an outsider. Business speak is all head, no heart, but we make decisions about what we buy and how we engage based on how we feel. Jargon: ‘special words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand.’


Why does business writing have to be formal?

Why are we so flippin’ corporate?! There are constant advances in tech and in the tools we use to communicate with each other, but our business writing seems to be stuck in the typewriting era! Why are we still so formal in our emails, business presentations, job adverts and articles..? STOP IT!

Maybe it’s a hangover from when we first stepped into the world of work and wanted to impress our boss by showing them how ‘professional’ we were? Perhaps we have our high school English teachers’ voice ringing in our ears (“essays should include a structured introduction, point, example, explanation, conclusion…”). Or maybe, just maybe, it’s safer and more comfortable to hide behind formal business jargon than it is to write how and what we really think… (click here to read full article)


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