Alternative remedies – simple words for clearer business writing

This entry was posted on Monday, April 19th, 2010 at 3:18 PM

It really does grate on me when I read letters, adverts, leaflets, or whatever, that sound like the written equivalent of a telephone voice. You know what I mean – when someone suddenly adopts a style they wouldn’t normally use. I think they do it to appear intelligent. However, it makes them sound dull and stilted. It also makes the copy pretty unpleasant and uninviting.

This is going to be a regular post (every two months). I’ll feature two words that are common culprits each post and give you some alternatives. Together we can rid business writing of these stodgy intruders!

So here goes:

Utilise – what’s wrong with use?

Please utilise all the space inside the room. Pompous and stiff.

Please use all the space inside the room. Natural and won’t make you sound like a numpty. Not at all.

Commences – why not begins?

The evening commences at 7.30pm with informal networking. Doesn’t sound much fun to me.

The evening begins at 7.30 with informal networking. Much friendlier! Can’t wait to go.

End apostrophe abuse | Think like your customer

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Hello. I'm Elaine, I'm a copywriter and this is my blog.

It's mostly about words and writing - things that inspire me, entertain me, and make me smile. Sometimes it's about things that horrify me so much I want to scream and shout!

I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. And speaking of useful - scroll down and take a look at the Oxford Dictionaries tool.

Click here to find out a bit more about me.

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