Abdul has some of the highest call center ratings, even though his Saudi accent is strong. ABC Company appreciates the opportunity to fill your Pick n Pack order. Some common imprecise word choices that can almost always be replaced with stronger, more precise words include the following: good, bad, thing, stuff, important. Recently, a friend introduced me to Visual Thesaurus, a wonderful subscription tool developed by Thinkmap, Inc., which I now find indispensable. It's also not just a … PASSIVE VOICE: A raise can not be given at this time. The pay the contractor receives is equal to the time and materials used. Often, writers assume that complex words make their writing impressive, which leads them to avoid using simple words. I forgot to get one orange, eggs for the mix (2), and the red for the icing ,so I’ll need one bottle of red food coloring. ), Juana looked for her phone under the table, on top of the bookcase, and inside the cupboard. More important than putting praise or criticism first is putting the student’s strength in the sentence’s main clause. With proper wording and phrasing, your communications can enhance your reputation and the reputation of your business. Think about the difference between these two versions of a list in an internal report: Which one is easier to follow? Notice how she talks about herself first with the use of personal pronoun “I”? It’s precision that gives writing power.” This observation applies to all kinds of writing. The store needs several items to process the refund for the incorrect billing. Or, think about a clothes washing machine. That you are an insider and not an outsider. Referring to three physicians as Dr. Jameel Smith, Dr. Samuel Evans, and Kathy will probably not make Dr. Kathleen O’Rourke very happy. In business writing (and all writing), you should avoid using doublespeak. Please see the corporate request. There are FIVE QUESTIONS TO ANSWER. Use of bold font provides emphasis without the startling impact of all capital letters. . Jargon refers to terminology that is unique to specific professions or areas of study and are not generally known outside of those groups. John is one of our most active employees. The second sentence uses parallelism. In the simplest terms, an active voice sentence is written in the form of “A does B.” (For example, “Carmen sings the song.”) A passive voice sentence is written in the form of “B is done by A.” (For example, “The song is sung by Carmen.”) Both constructions are grammatically sound and correct. One way people could learn about changing a tire is from a description in the owner’s ma… ASAP is not a time we each understand the same way. Do you use “one” (as in “One hopes to understand the meaning of this sentence.”) and then get stuck in a bog of pronouns? One good resource is Merriam Webster’s Dictionary. Do we have enough manpower to finish this project? (This may look tricky, but all of the elements in the list are nouns, so the sentence is parallel. The dictionary defines jargon as “the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity or group.”[2] Since these terms are used within an activity, group, or profession, they’re typically not well understood outside that context. There is a meeting for the entire staff next Friday. When filing the report, each employee should make sure he or she included yesterday’s data. For example, if you are writing a department-wide memo, it would be acceptable to use terms specific to your company or department. Let’s rewind and imagine Lynnette wrote her initial draft focusing on getting the customer’s primary need instead: “I have found your product at the Texas depot, and I have scheduled delivery for March 30.” Lynette is satisfied with this draft: it is direct and delivers the needed information. Please see the corporate request. "Words are important," said … Why Word Choice is Important Human beings are herd animals and need to communicate. A word choice is an important part of any communication. Communication is the transmittal of meaning in such a way that the receiver obtains the same meaning intended by the sender. Remember that a stamped return envelope will get your money back more quickly. The audience (your reader, if the message is written) is the receiver of the business communication. Compound-complex sentences — you can probably figure this one out from the name and the example: While Amanita looked for the ball, Fido chased a grasshopper, and Whiskers looked bored. Use the following principles to guide your vocabulary decisions. Business writers work to be clear and direct in meaning, and drawing attention to details about race, age, country of origin, disability, and gender in the workplace might cause conscious or unconscious bias. Yara loves running, swimming, and biking. The sender needs to find the best balance. Narrowness. The company may not be all that sorry if the customer did not allow sufficient time. This keeps the modern day messenger (or email sender) from being shot (or fired) all while maintaining good business relationships. She caught on to that new software quickly. The passive is created using the verb to be (e.g., the song is sung; it was struck from behind). Working with numbered lists or bulleted lists is a fast way to draw attention to several items. The first way to avoid gender bias in your writing is to use gender-neutral words when referring individuals in various positions: The next thing to be aware of is your use of gendered pronouns. Seen another way, it’s context. Why is the passive voice so hated? PASSIVE VOICE:  The potential sale in North Dakota was lost. The word is applied to phrases that have lost their meaning through overuse: e.g., outside the box, in this day and age, plagued by doubts, read between the lines Word choice is an essential element for any student learning to write effectively. However, nothing in this email so far has answered the customer’s primary need. The organization, word choice, and tone of your message allows the communication to be received and understood while maintaining a positive business relationship. At the same time, keep in mind that your word choices affect the attitudes your readers have toward you and your subject matter. Concise business writing uses clean, straightforward sentence structure to improve understanding and retention. Business communication should be clear, specific, and chock-full of meaning. Essentially, any time you have a list—whether it’s within a single sentence or has a larger scope—you should focus on parallelism. To be conjugates irregularly. e.g., Marie Curie’s research on radioactivity was innovative in its identification of previously unknown radioactive substances, including radium. You-view, or putting the reader first, encompasses two skills: Lynnette has worked hard to find a lost shipment. How we communicate what we try to convey, is critical in having the message understood by th… They add emphasis because they stand out on the page. When choosing between terms to refer to a group, it is best to ask a member of that group what they prefer. I know exactly what do do with the claim now. Findings from Goddard (1989) suggest that sentence length is related to reader comprehension. The best solution is often to rephrase the sentence to have a plural subject instead of a singular subject. Why is it more important to monitor your word choice in a professional environment than in personal communication exchanges?Write one well-written paragraph. This research suggests that between 20 and 25 words is the maximum for solid comprehension. Now you just need to finish submitting the paperwork to process the deal. The whole effort you put into writing and revising could be lost with a simple choice of words. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. With business writing, the main focus is on the reader’s ability to quickly absorb and react to the communication. Imagine an entire report full of this: Even though you are reading excellent news, you’re about to keel over from the monotony, aren’t you? Maybe it’s parenting or one that revolves around your sport or hobby. However, there are occasions when slang and idiomatic expressions may be appropriate, depending on who your audience is. The French novelist Gustav Flaubert once remarked, “All talent for writing consists, after all, of nothing more than choosing words. Word choice and connotation affect it. Compound sentences consist of two (or more, but that’s tricky) independent clauses attached by a comma and a conjunction: Amanita threw the ball, and Fido fetched it. To understand this concept, think about learning to change a tire. Revised Paragraph. If you are writing informally or humorously, slang and idiomatic language may help you better express yourself. She was dead after all that overtime last weekend. Six Principles of Word Choice This effect is further magnified when it comes in a downward message. Parallel construction of sentences, lists, and even headings makes messages much easier for the reader to absorb. Please be sure to add that. Writing in a non-sexist way requires the ability to recognize sexism in the first place. Visit our COVID-19 information website to learn how Warriors protect Warriors. To build on what Maria Rosales, best-selling author and History professor as Duke University wrote in her article “The Importance of Word Choice,” words can poke fun. [This includes a prepositional phrase, “on her perch,” and a compound verb “sat” and “whistled,” but it’s still a simple sentence.]. The University of Chicago Press. Grammar is important because it provides information that helps the reader’s comprehension. For someone nearing retirement, she caught on to that new software quickly. Do you use “also” too much to show the relationship between ideas? The month-end income statement showed a negative cash flow. All three verbs are gerunds, whereas in the first sentence, two are gerunds and one is an infinitive. That cart did not work any more. For example, instead of saying that you are leaving a meeting to urinate, you might say that you are “going to the restroom.” If you are talking about a person who just died, you might say that the person has “passed away.”. Euphemisms are words or phrases used to talk about unpleasant or taboo topics in a more polite way. The Importance of Word Choice. The employee gains respect and appreciation thanks to writing skills that project credibility and confidence. A sentence like this is not only confusing, it also becomes really boring to read and doesn’t sound very sophisticated: All three of these activities are part of the completion of a report, but they don’t really belong in the same sentence. ], Whiskers ate her tuna. To process your refund, the store needs several pieces of documentation. It is not clear what step must be taken next. Reserve passive verbs for the moment you need to say “no” in a message. You can see from these three sentences that they “rhyme” in all but the last few words. The choice of words is the style of expression. Think of the advice a home seller receives before an open house: have bread baking or apple cider simmering to create an aroma that makes the house feel more like a home. Examples of important word choice in agriculture. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Indigenous Initiatives Office. “Love” is an intense human emotion, not the emotion of a thing—a company. You may have noticed something unique about the previous passive voice example: the passive voice can be used to “hide” who performed the action. In business writing, your purpose should not be to hide meaning but to communicate clearly. You should receive the order on August 8. Poetry is a concentration of ideas. While many may know that it means “ok” or “I understand”, it is not clear to all outside those circles. Context affects how people interpret the message. In this situation, the solution may be to completely omit the pronoun: “Someone will call you to further discuss the issue. In order to write straightforward sentences that are appropriate and effective in business communication, there are a few things to keep in mind. Simple sentences consist of a single independent clause: Fido fetched. Recognising that we have used a cliché, we are in a position to choose more unique words. In business communication, the key is to choose language that is direct and easy for your audience to understand. They can also make it harder for non-native English speakers to understand you. Yay! You should use the same mode of address for every person you mention. can make your writing sound boring. He or she will call between 9:00 and 10:00 tomorrow morning.” Only one person will be making the call, so we can’t make this sentence plural. Recently, employees have erroneously entered wired rather than rewired on service orders. When filing the report, each employee should make sure he included yesterday’s data. Did the cleaning woman bring new trash bags? Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a cliché as “a trite phrase or expression; a hackneyed theme, characterization, or situation; something (such as a menu item) that has become overly familiar or commonplace.”[1]. For example, if you’re writing a newsletter for customers, you would use much different language than you would if you were writing a product status update to the engineers who initially created the product. It sure seemed like the lawyer was trying to confuse the meaning. Be careful not to string together too many ideas in the same sentence. Isn’t it obvious that “I am writing”? All employees should file their reports by the end of the day. If you are addressing only members of a specialized field, using field-specific jargon will signal to your audience that you are also a member of the field and may allow you to talk about higher or specific concepts. Starting a sentence with a dependent clause can sometimes bury the important news at the back end of the sentence. In both of these instances, you were (likely) guided away from the passive voice. Write one well-written paragraph and answer the above question to earn 10 points. If, however, it is important that Tamara lost the sale, but we want to focus on the loss rather than who lost it, saying “The potential sale in North Dakota was lost by Tamara,”. But there are occasions when being too direct can make you sound insensitive. Do you start sentences with “What it is, is . Any author knows that his first draft of a piece won’t be good. Some salt is tremendously helpful and enhances the dish. In a recent commentary in Lancet Psychiatry, Veryan Richards, member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Patient and Carer Committee, discusses the importance of language in mental health care.Richards argues that language has a powerful impact and therefore more efforts should be made to use language that is destigmatizing and accurately descriptive. Put the receiver first. If you have the receipt, we’ll need that. Have you ever heard the phrase, “don’t shoot the messenger” when someone is blaming the bearer of bad news for the upset? Business writing uses simpler sentences to be more concise and thus less likely to be misinterpreted. For example, let’s look at this sentence: “Someone will call you to further discuss the issue. Those two items are identical, except for the price tag we added. ACTIVE VOICE: You cannot have a raise at this time. Selecting precise words will help you increase the impact you create on your audience. Your help is appreciated. If all choices are related to considering the receiver’s needs over those of the sender, the message is more likely to achieve its purpose quickly. This is not a personal communication that might include emotion or symbols for emotions. If the receiver is not from the technical side of communications, someone might have been thinking about a bank machine. Reading and writing are usually not solitary activities. That cart did not work any more. If all choices are related to considering the receiver’s needs over those of the sender, the message is more likely to achieve its purpose quickly. Some companies have decided to include instructional DVDs that demonstrate the controls. While humans write the communications, the situation remains one company communicating to another or to a customer. Be precise while understandable. Despite this sentences being completely grammatically sound, we don’t know who lost the sale if we only read the passive sentence. If the message was distressing or described a severe misfortune, the receivers might blame the messenger for such bad news and take their anger out on the unfortunate messenger. Abdul has some of the highest call center ratings. I might be thinking this research and forms needed will take a week, so seven days is sufficient. Your order has been received and will ship shortly. Think of written communication as a process with multiple players; often, at the most basic level, there exists a writer, a message to be conveyed, and an audience of one or more readers. For example, during a war, a messenger would be sent from one camp to another. Its forms include am, are, is, was, were, and will be, had been, is being, and was being. Proper word choice is necessary for presenting the exact idea. Every employee should file his or her report by the end of the day. Apologizing can bring blame upon a company. This model focuses on the choices a writer or sender of a message can make to best convey their message to the receiver. Too much salt is off-putting and may even be sickening. It sure seemed like the lawyer was trying to obfuscate the meaning. Correct word choice creates an accurate picture of the writer's topic that is both unique and easy to understand. Let’s look at some examples and ways to fix them. Here are some important questions to ask yourself about your audience that may direct the stylistic choices you make in your writing: Even in a specialized, professional work environment, the level of knowledge your audience may have about the technical aspects of your work or area of expertise will vary. First, it … At the heart of business is the idea that “time is money.” This may lead you to believe that shorter messages are always better; however, concise writing is not just fast or short; it is writing that balances the clarity of the message with efficiency. For example, the act of terminating employment for many people at once may be referred to in doublespeak as downsizing or right-sizing, or a government dropping bombs might say it is servicing the target. Research has shown that kids need to understand 98% of the words they read to understand what they are reading. The audience (your reader, if the message is written) is the receiver of the business communication. Word choice is an important part of any type of writing-especially content writing. While they is typically treated as a plural pronoun, when an individual has expressed a desire to be identified with gender-neutral pronouns (they/their/theirs), it is grammatically correct to use they as a singular pronoun (per the Chicago Manual of Style, one of the predominant authorities on grammar and style). There are five questions to answer. The whole point of that sentence is that the company is doing well. But the truth is, the words and phrases you use can have a very real impact on your team's morale and productivity. The correct amount of emphasis in business communications can help readers easily access the intended message. (Parallel elements are independent clauses that could stand alone as sentences. While language, or verbal communication, is only one channel we can use to transmit information, it is a channel that can lend itself to numerous problems. Maintaining parallelism can also keep you from unintentional bias. Try to use emotionally neutral expressions rather than ones that assign a role, such as victim. Why is it more important to monitor your word choice in a professional environment than in personal communication exchanges If you are passionate about writing, you understand the importance of word choice to convey the right meaning or evoke emotion. She begins writing up her draft: “You won’t believe how many people I had to contact to find this for you. 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