Chapter 3 - Business Style - Word Choice, Conciseness and Tone

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21 Apr 2012
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Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
Chapter 3
Business Style Word Choice, Conciseness and Tone
Word Choice:
Plain Style/Plain Language:
-style of writing that places value on simplicity, directness and clarity
Makes it acceptable of you to write in the same everyday language that you use when you speak
Helps you reach your readers instead of putting your audience at a distance
-one of the aims is to banish dead and empty words in favour of lively, expressive ones that readers
connect with immediately and remember easily
-saves time, puts readers first and makes ideas and information meaningful, plain language is good for
business
-plain language is pared down, simple approach, few common sense principles:
Common, everyday words, expect for necessary technical terms
Reasonable sentence length
Active voice verbs and phrasal verbs
Use personal pronouns (ex. I, you , we)
Use unambiguous language (ambiguity)
Place the subject as close as possible to the verb
-plain style gives daily communication energy, impact and precision that sustains readers interests and
enables them to easily grasp complicated ideas and activities
Tone:
-by reading between the lines of almost any business message, it is possible to detect the writers frame
of mind, inkling of demand or respect, arrogance of modesty, indifference or concern
-tone refers to the mood of a message; the implied attitude of the writer to the subject and his reader
-absence of vocal inflection and visual cues such as body language time is written communication
creates impression based on purely the words that are used and the length and structure of sentence
the writer happens to choose
-tone should support its content and remain fairly consistent from the beginning to end
-tone in a email will not be acceptable in formal report, because it demands more serious and
professional tone
Once you have determined the tone you want to use, it should remain consistent
-make sure the tone you establish supports your content and creates the right impression
Right Level of Formality: Personal and Impersonal Style
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