10 Principles of Business Communication

10 Principles of Business Communication

Principles are tested guidelines for a course of action. These are tested hypotheses or generalizations that appear accurate and true for a particular situation. Principles have value in predicting what will happen in a similar circumstance.

Principles of business communication are empirically driven guidelines to make successful and effective communication. These are fundamental truths that help business management predict precisely the consequences of a particular course of action on business communication.

These principles provide guidelines for the choice of content and style of presentation, adapted to the purpose and the receiver of your message. To compose written or oral messages, you must apply certain common principles of business communication.

Murphy, Hildebranot, and Thomas (2001: 32) point out the principles of the Seven Cs. They are completeness, conciseness, consideration, concreteness, clarity, courtesy, and correctness.

Other experts have pointed out, along with the seven above, another set of principles. We discuss below those widely accepted principles:

Principle of Objectivity

Every action of a human being is goal-directed. A goal or objective is the destination that is set to achieve. Business communication is a deliberate action of a human being to achieve mutually understood meaning of a message containing some business content to attain economic gain.

Therefore, business communication should be made in such a way that it will serve the purpose of the communication and of the business organization. There shall be no point of deviation from the objective determination of the organization while encoding the message.

The words, sentences, information, logic, reason, etc., whatever are written in the communication; all should lead to the attainment of the objectives of the communication, i.e., the objectives of the organization.

Principle of Completeness

Business communication must be complete in all senses. A business message would be complete when it contains all the facts the reader or listener needs for the action you desire.

It will be complete when the receiver does not have any questions to ask the sender about the content of the message to act accordingly. Parties in business communication differ in their mental filters, backgrounds, viewpoints, needs, experiences, attitudes, statuses, and emotions.

Thus, the sender must assess the message through the eyes of the receiver to be sure that they have included all relevant information in their message. Completeness offers numerous benefits. They are:

  1. Complete messages are more likely to bring the desired results without the expense of additional messages.
  2. They can do a better job of building goodwill.
  3. Complete messages can help avert costly lawsuits that may result if important information is missing.
  4. Communications that seem inconsequential can be surprisingly important if the information they contain is complete and effective.

To complete the message, we must keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Provide all necessary information, answer all questions asked, and give something extra when desirable. It would be better to address all these factors from the reader’s point of view and provide facts accordingly.
  • When we initiate a message, we must check to make sure that we have provided all the information the reader needs for thorough, accurate understanding. One way to complete the message in terms of information is to answer the five questions: Who, What, When, Where, and Why, and one (1) “H,” such as How. The five-question method is especially useful when we write requests, announcements, or other informational messages. Other situations can also be facilitated by the same method.
  • Try to answer all stated and implied questions in order to complete a message. The receiver of the communication will react negatively if the messages are incomplete.
  • The customer may think that the respondent is careless or is purposefully trying to conceal a weak spot. In general, “Omissions cast suspicions.” Therefore, all questions, favorable or unfavorable, must be answered tactfully and honestly.
  • It is better to use our good judgment in offering additional materials if the sender’s message is incomplete. Additional information may also help create a favorable image and confidence in the organization. It may lead to future increasing business and a strong congenial, interdependent relationship.

Principle of Conciseness

Conciseness is a prerequisite for effective business communication. A concise message saves time and expense for both the sender and the receiver.

Business executives do not have much time to go through a lengthy message; they are busy individuals.

Therefore, a concise but complete message should be developed for business communication. A concise message is complete without being wordy.

Communication is considered concise if it is written with the fewest words possible without sacrificing other principles. Conciseness contributes to emphasis; by eliminating unnecessary words, it highlights important ideas.

Concise messages are inherently more interesting to the receiver because they follow a ‘you-view,’ making communication friendlier.

Concise messages show respect for receivers by not cluttering their professional lives with unnecessary information.

Conciseness can be achieved by following the following guidelines:

Eliminate wordy expressions

To reduce wordiness in communication, you can follow the suggestions below:

Use single-word substitutes

Use single-word substitutes instead of phrases whenever possible without changing the meanings of the sentence. For example:

  • Wordy: At this time. Concise: Now.
  • Wordy: Due to the fact that. Concise: Because.

Omit trite, unnecessary expressions.

“Trite” refers to an opinion or a phrase that is too often used and becomes dull or lacks originality. Omit such expressions to make the message more attractive.

  • Wordy: Allow me to say how helpful your response. Concise: Your last response was helpful.

Replace wordy conventional statements with a concise version.

  • Wordy: Please find herewith the list you requested. Concise: The requested list is attached.

Avoid overusing empty phrases.

  • Wordy: There are five rules that should be observed. Concise: Five rules should be observed.

Avoid overusing camouflaged verbs.

Camouflaged verbs can be avoided by:

  • Writing concretely.
  • Favoring active voice.
  • Making the subjects of most sentences either persons or things.
  • Writing sentences in a normal order.
Camouflaged verbClear verb form
The new policy involved the
standardization of the procedures.
The new policy standardized
the procedures.
We must bring about a
reconciliation of differences.
We must reconcile our
differences.
Application of the mixture was
accomplished.
They applied the mixture.
Control of the water was not
possible.
They could not control the
water.                 

Choose short words over long ones.

Short words communicate effectively. There are some exceptions, but generally, short words make communication efficient.

Long words: During the preceding year, the company operated at a financial deficit.
Concise: Last year, the company lost money.

Long words: They acceded to the proposition to terminate business.
Concise: They agreed to end the business.

Omit “which” and “that” clauses whenever possible.

Wordy: The papers which are endorsed exhibit documents of the purchase.
Concise: The enclosed papers document the purchase.

Wordy: Mr. Karim bought a table that is of secretariat type.
Concise: Mr. Karim bought a secretariat table.

Emphasize short sentences.

Long sentences are difficult to read. We know that our minds have limitations; they are limited in their ability to handle complex information and too many relationships and pieces of information.

Therefore, keep sentences short for better readability. Short sentences typically contain about 16 to 18 words. Writing in simple, short sentences involves two basic techniques:

The first is the technique of limiting sentence content.

The second is the technique of expressing thoughts in fewer words, that is, economizing on the words used.

First technique: Limiting Sentence Content

Long sentences are difficult to understand, and shorter versions are easier to comprehend. They fit better into the mind and place more emphasis on the content and organization of the subject matter.

Let’s consider an example:

  • Long Sentence: This memorandum is being distributed with the first-semester class cards, which are to serve as a final check on the correctness of the registration of students and are to be used later as the mid-semester grade cards, which are to be submitted prior to November 20.
  • Short Sentences: This memorandum is being distributed with the first-semester class cards. These cards will now serve as a final check on student registration. Later, they will be used for mid-semester grades, which are due before November 20.

Second technique: Economizing on words

This technique shortens sentences by using words economically. Learning to use words economically is a matter of ongoing effort. You should continuously be aware of the need for word economy.

You should carefully. Explore and appraise the many ways of expressing each thought. The possibility of word economy depends on the subject matter in each case. The common ways are:

Avoid cluttering phrases. Substitute shorter expression.

Cluttering phraseSubstitute
Along the lines of
At the present time
For the purpose of
For the reason that
In accordance with
In the meantime
In the near future
In the neighborhood of
In very few cases
In view of the fact that
On the basis of
On the occasion of
With regard to, with reference to
With a view to
like
now
for
because, since
by
meanwhile
soon
about, around
seldom
since, because
by
on
about
to
Long wayShort & improved way
In the event that payment is not made by January, operations will cease.
In spite of the fact that they received help, they failed to exceed the quota. The invoice was in the amount of . Tk.50,000
If payment is not made by January, operations will cease.
Even though they received help, they failed to exceed the quota. The invoice was for Tk.50,000.

Eliminate surplus words that add no meaning.

Sentence contains Surplus wordsSurplus words eliminated sentences
He ordered desks that are of the executive type.

In addition to these defects, numerous other defects mar the operating procedure.

The machines that were damaged by the fire were repaired.

I am prepared to report to the effect that sales increased.
He ordered executive-type desks.
Numerous other defects mar the operating procedure.

The machines damaged by the fire were repaired.

I am prepared to report that sales increased.

Avoid roundabout ways of saying things.

Use direct and to the point. Don’t cover the same ground in a roundabout way. The direct ways are usually better, and you should use them.

Roundabout SentencesDirect & to the point sentences
The department budget can be observed to be decreasing each year.The department budget decreases each year.
The president is of the opinion that the tax was paid.The president believes the tax was paid.
It is essential that the income be used to retire the debt.The income must be used to retire the debt.
It is the committee’s assumption that the evidence has been gathered.The committee assumes that the evidence has been gathered.
The supervisors should take appropriate action to determine whether the time cards are being Inspected.The supervisors should determine whether the time cards are being Inspected.
He criticized everyone he came in contact with.He criticized everyone he met.

Avoid unnecessary repetition of words or thoughts except in Justified situations.

Repeat only for effect and emphasis. Don’t repeat unnecessarily.

Useless RepetitionRepetition Eliminated
The assignment of training the ineffective worker is an assignment we must carry out.Training the ineffective worker is an assignment we must carry out.
Modem, up-to-date equipment will
be used.
Modem equipment. Will be used.
In the office they found supplies there that had never been issued.In the office they found supplies that had never been issued.
In my opinion I think the plan is sound.I think the plan is sound.
The important essentials must not be neglected.The essentials must not be neglected.
The consensus of opinion is that the tax is unfair.The consensus is that the tax is unfair.
As a matter of interest, I am interested in learning your procedure.I am interested in learning your procedure.
We should plan in advance for the future.We should plan.

Eliminate unnecessary prepositional phrases.

Wordy: The issue of most relevance is teamwork.
Concise: The most relevant issue is teamwork

Limit the use of the passive voice.

Wordy: The total balance due will be found on page 2 of this report.
Concise: The balance due is on page 2 of this report.

Include only relevant materials.

The effective concise message should include only relevant materials and statements. Observe the following suggestions:

  1. Stick to the purpose of the message.
  2. Delete irrelevant words and rambling sentences.
  3. Omit information obvious to the receiver.
  4. Avoid long introduction, unnecessary explanations, excessive
    adjectives and prepositions, pompous words, gushy politeness.
  5. Get to the important point tactfully and concisely.

Wordy: We hereby wish to let you know that our company is pleased with the confidence you have reposed in us.
Concise: We appreciate your confidence.

Use Shorter Names and Titles.

a. Use a shorter name after you have mentioned the long one once.

Long : George Washington hall.
Short: Washington hall.

b. Use pronouns or initials rather than repeat long names.

Long : Human Resource Management
Shot: HRM

Long: United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement
Short: USMCA

Principle of Consideration

Consideration means preparing every message with the message receivers in mind (Murphy, Hildebrandt, and Thomas). When encoding a message, try to put yourself in the place of the receivers.

Their desires, problems, circumstances, emotions, and probable reactions are to be taken into consideration. These should be handled from their point of view. Do not lose temper, do not charge them, and do not accuse them without facts.

Give their situations the highest priority while drafting a message. This thoughtful consideration is also called the “You attitude,” empathy, or the human touch, etc. There are three specific ways to deal with the consideration principle –

Focus on ‘you’ instead of ‘I’ and ‘we.’

It will help project a “you attitude,” but overuse can lead to a negative reaction. To create audience-oriented, considerate messages, focus on how message receivers will benefit, what they will receive, and what they want or need to know.

We-attitude: I am delighted to announce that we will be extending our hours to make shopping more convenient.
You-attitude: You will be able to shop in the evenings with the extended hours.

We-attitude: We are sure that our new discount policy will be attractive to you.
You-attitude: You will surely appreciate the new discount policy.

Avoid insensitive ‘you.’

Insensitive ‘you’: You failed to enclose your check in the envelope.

Considerate: The check was not enclosed (Passive voice).
Considerate: The envelope we received did not have a check in it (depersonalized).

The use of ‘you’ in negative situations can be avoided by implying the passive voice, making the receiver part of a group, or depersonalizing the situation.

Show audience benefit or interest in the receiver.

Readers of the message may react positively when benefits are shown to them. Thus, whenever possible and true, show how your receivers will benefit from messages. Benefits must meet receivers’ needs, address their concerns, or offer rewards.

Non-benefit statement: You will be glad to know that our branch now has a walk-up window open 7-9 a.m. and 5-9 p.m. every weekday.

Benefiting sentence: You can now meet your banking needs at our new walk-up window. It is open with a teller to serve you 7-9 a.m. and 5-9 p.m. Saturday through Thursday.

Emphasize positive, pleasant facts.

Stress what can be done instead of what cannot be done, and focus on positive words and facts that your receiver can consider favorably.

Positive pleasantNegative Unpleasant
It is impossible to open account for you
to day
We shall gladly open an account when .
Your signature card reaches us.
We do not accept your request for
extending credit.
We can accept your request when credit
record is satisfactory.
Positive wordsNegative words
benefitblame
cordialcomplaint
happyfailed
Helpfault
generousnegligence
loyalregret
pleasurereject
thankstrouble
thoughtfulunfair
impossible

Principle of concreteness

Concreteness means being specific, definite, and vivid rather than vague and general (Murphy 1986:43). Concreteness also means exactness (Lesjkar and Pettit 2002:103).

Business communication should have concrete language for an interesting message. It means that business communication should use denotative rather than connotative words.

Denotative words are direct, explicit, often dictionary-based, and connotative words are ideas or notions suggested by or associated with a word or phrase. Business communication should thus use words that form sharp, clear meanings in the reader’s mind.

Benefits

The benefits of concrete messages to business executives are obvious. Receivers know exactly what is required or desirable. It increases the likelihood that the message would be interpreted in the intended way. Concrete messages are more richly textured.

Thus, they tend to be more vivid, dynamic, and interesting (Murphy, Hildebrandt, and Thomas).

How To Write Concrete Messages

The following guidelines would help you compose a concrete, convincing messages:

Use specific facts and figures:

It is desirable to be precise and concrete in both written and oral business communication.

AbstractConcrete
A significant loss
Good attendance record
The leading company
The majority
In the near future
labour-saving machine
Light in weight
Substantial amount
A 53 percent loss,
100 percent attendance record
First among 3,200 competitors
62 percent
By Thursday noon
Machine that does the work of seven workers
Feather light
Tk. 34,56,000

Put action in your verbs.

The verb can activate other words and help make your sentence alive and more vigorous. Thus, to have a dynamic and forceful message, (1) use active rather than passive verbs, and (2) put action in verbs rather than in nouns and infinitives, but do not eliminate the passive voice.

It is required in some cases. Active voice is stronger and shorter.

Superiority of active over passive verbs.

Active voice verbs are those whose subject does the action. Passive voice verbs are those whose subject receives the action.

Thus, for the liveliest, most vigorous writing, you should make good use of active-voice verbs.

However, this suggestion does not mean that you should eliminate passive voice, for passive voice has a definite place in good writing.

But it does mean that you should use as much active voice as you logically can. Seven verbs are deadly verbs. They are ‘be, give, have, hold, make, put and take.”

Action in verbs, not in nouns/infinitives.

Action holding in a ‘quiet nounAction in the verb

The function of this office is the collection of payments and the compilation of statements.

Professor Adam will give consideration to the report.

Students held the meeting In the
office.

This office collects payments and compiles statements.

Professor Ahmed will consider the report.

Students met in the office.

Choose vivid, image-building words.

Using sensory appeals, comparisons, and cautious use of figurative language can make business communication forceful, vivid, and specific.

  • Sensory appeal
    • Nonsensory appeal : The product is fantastic.
      • Sensory appeal : The product glazes like a mirror, and you can see your face in it.
  • Comparisons
    • Analogies or comparisons can make an unclear idea clear and make an idea more vivid.
  • Figurative Language
    • Literal and dull: Our budget analysis will begin soon
    • More vivid figurative: Your budget review would begin to set the next year allocation.

Principle of clarity

Clarity means getting the meaning of business messages accurately from the head of the sender to the head of the receiver.

We all carry around ow own unique interpretations, ideas, and experiences associated with words. Therefore, the transmission of messages with their accurate meaning to the receiver and making it understood in the same manner are crucial for effective communication.

Clarity of business communication can be achieved by two means:

  1. choose precise, concrete, and familiar words; and
  2. Construct effective sentences and paragraphs.

Choose precise, concrete, and familiar words.

Clarity is achieved in part through a balance between precise language and familiar language. Select exactly the right and familiar words to convey your message. Use synonyms instead of Latin terms.

Familiar words Unfamiliar or pretentious words
aboutcirca (L)
aftersubsequent
homedomicile
for examplee.g.(L)
payremuneration

Construct effective sentences and paragraphs.

Effective sentences are short sentences. Try to keep the average sentence length within 17 to 20 words. In a sentence, unity between one main idea and closely related other ideas must be maintained.

The words in a sentence must be correctly arranged in such a way that the ideas clearly express the intended meaning. It is known as coherence. Put the main ideas up front within a sentence. Writers of a message must decide what needs emphasis and then choose the correct sentence structure.

Visual procedures like graphs, pie charts, bar diagrams, underlining italics, colored, indentations, etc., are used to show emphasis. The PCs of today and related software allow innumerable ways to visually add emphasis to words and paragraphs.

Principle of Courtesy

Courtesy is a major contributor to effective communication. Courtesy means polite behavior or good manners. It involves being aware of the perspective of others and their feelings.

Courtesy stems from a sincere you-attitude. Writing or speaking in a conversational tone, strategically emphasizing the reader’s viewpoint, and carefully selecting positive words will generate courtesy.

Courtesy is not merely politeness with mechanical insertions of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in socially acceptable manners, but it is a politeness that grows out of respect and concern for others. It is an effort to put the reader in a favorable frame of mind and go beyond this.

9 Tips On How To Be Courteous:

  1. Be sincerely tactful
  2. Single out your reader
  3. Refrain from preaching
  4. Avoid anger
  5. Be thoughtful and appreciative.
  6. Use expressions that show respect.
  7. Omit irritating expressions
  8. Omit questionable humours
  9. Choose nondiscriminatory expressions

Be sincerely tactful

Don’t be abrupt or blunt. It means writing or talking very little and often rude or seeming rude. It also means hot, smooth, or evenly flowing speech.

It may come from a mistaken idea of conciseness from negative personal attitudes or from not knowing the culture of a country or a community. Avoid discourteous expressions and tactfully present your message.

Tactless, bluntUse tactful
Clearly you did not read my latest faxsometimes my wording is not precise, let me try again.
I rewrote that litter three times; the point was clear.I’m sorry the point was not clear; here is another version.

Single out your reader

Courteous treatment requires singling out and writing directly to your reader. This means writing for one situation, giving the reader individualized treatment. It is known as customizing communication.

You can refer to the reader by name. ‘as you agree, Mr. Smith.’ ‘If we can be of any further assistance, please call on us.’ ‘We wish you the best of success on

Refrain from preaching

Preaching tone is offensive. People tend to be somewhat independent. They do not like to be bossed, or teached. They want to be treated as equals. The effect of courtesy is enhanced by avoiding preaching, teaching, or giving sermon. Elementary, flat and obvious statements often sound preachy.

Avoid

  • ‘Rapid turnover means greater profits’
  • ‘you need’
  • ‘you must’
  • ‘you must take the advantage of savings like this if you are to be successful’.

Avoid anger

Anger destroys goodwill. Rarely anger is justified. The effect of anger words is obvious. They make the reader angry and jeopardize business relationship.

Angry statements

  • ‘We will not tolerate this condition.’
  • ‘Your careless attitude had caused us a loss in sales.’
  • ‘ I cannot understand your negligence.’

Be thoughtful and appreciative.

The cordial, courteous messages of deserved congratulations and appreciation help build goodwill. Asian people like the soft, more polite approach in both oral and written communication.

Use expressions that show respect.

No reader wants to receive messages that offend. So, follow the under-said guidelines:

Omit irritating expressions

Contrary to your inference
Delinquency
I do not agree with you
If you are
I’m sure you must realize
Inexcusable
Obnoxious
Obviously you overlooked
Owing to your questionable credit
we are unable to
simply nonsense
Surely you don’t expect
we are amazed you can’t
we don’t believe
we expect you to
we find it difficult to believe that
we must insist
we take issue
we have you ignored
you are delinquent
You are probably ignorant of the fact that
you claim that
you did not tell us
you failed to
you forgot to
you have to
you leave us no choice
you neglected to
you should know
you surely don’t expect

your complaint
your failure to
your insinuation
your neglect
your stubborn silence.

Omit questionable humours

Laughter to one person is disgust for another; each of us has a different sense of humor. Look at the following notes:

Offensive

Hey man, what’s this? I hear about the good news. You sure pulled a fast one this past weekend and then didn’t tell any of us about It. Give my regards to the little lady. I wish her the best; she’ll need it.

More Courteous

Warm congratulations on your wedding! Well, you certainly took us by surprise. In fact, just a few of us even suspected you were taking off to get married. But even though we didn’t hear about it until later, my wife and I-wish you the best.

Give our warm regards to your new partner.

Choose nondiscriminatory expressions

The use of nondiscriminatory language that reflects equal treatment of people regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, and physical features would be courteous.

a) Avoid sexist words: ‘Man’ words

It is better not to use words that suggest male dominance. It affects parity and courtesy.

SexistNonsexist
freshman receptionentering students reception
manpowerworkforce, employees, workers, personnel.
manmademanufactured, built.
chairmanChairperson
salesmansalesperson
policemanpolice officer
firemanfirefighter
cameramancamera operator
mailmanmail carrier.

b) Avoid masculine pronouns and make the reference plural

Masculine pronouns are used for both sexes, like he, his, and him. Don’t use those. Reword the sentence to eliminate the offending words.

Sexist SentencezReworded nonsexist sentence
A supervisor is not responsible for
such losses if he is not Negligent.
A supervisor who is not negligent is not responsible for such losses.
When a customer needs service, it is his right to ask for it.When a customer needs service, it is the customer’s right to ask for it.

Make the reference plural and avoid discriminating sentences.

Example: Supervisors are not responsible for such losses if they are not negligent. When customers need service, it is their right to ask for it.

Substitute neutral expressions instead of sexist sentences.

“A supervisor is not responsible for such losses if s/he is not negligent.” “When one needs service, it is one’s right to ask for it.”

Avoid words that demean women’s status.

Sentence that belittle the status of womenNon-demeaning expression
I’lI have my girl take care of these matters.I have my secretary to take care of this matter.
Lady lawyer
authoress
sculptress
poetess

Lawyer
author
sculptor
poet.

Use names in parallel form

Treat each gender with respect.

undesirableDesirable
Adam and Mrs. Adam were present in
the meeting.
Mr. Adam and Mrs. Adam were
present in the meeting

Principle of Correctness

The communication must be correct in proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. The principle also calls for using the right level of language accuracy of figures, facts, and words and for acceptable writing mechanics in the formation of the message.

Guidelines of Formal

There are three levels of language: formal, informal, and substandard. Business communication should contain informal language—short, well-known, and Conversational. It should avoid substandard language.

Use formalLess formal
participate
procure
endeavors
ascertain
deem
edifice
utilize
interrogate
join
get
try
find out
think (believe
building
use
question
SubstandardStandard
ain’t
can’t hardly
aim at proving
desirous to
irregardless
stoled
brung
should of h
isn’t ,aren’t
can hardly
aim to prove
, desirous of
regardless
Stolen
brought
should have

Cheek accuracy of figures, facts, and words.

Verify your statistical data, double-check your totals, and have another person read and comment on the validity of the materials. Be alert to accuracy because of changing rates, regulations, laws, and conditions.

Words that confuse

  • a, am
  • accept, except
  • between, among
  • biannually, biennially, ( every 2 years )
  • continual, continuous
  • effect, affect
  • eminent, imminent
  • farther, further
  • lay, laid, laid
  • lie, lay, lam
  • principle, principal
  • who, whom:
    • who is a subject of a verb
    • whom is a object of verb
  • which, that, who: That refers to persons or things
    • Who refers to people.
    • Which refers to things

Maintain acceptable writing mechanics.

Careful attention is to be given to the mechanical part of every well-written message.

Principle of Simplicity

Business communication should have simple language, familiar jargon, and easily understandable charts and graphs. The expression of business subjects should contain simplified facts and information. It requires some knowledge of language.

In fact, the greater your knowledge, the better you are likely to be able to communicate effectively and in simplified form. The following guidelines can help maintain this principle:

Use simple sentences, not complex ones:

Simple sentences are easily understandable, readable, and communicative without a break of meaning.

Complex sentenceSimple sentence
Definitive action was effected subsequent to the reporting dateFinal action was taken after the reporting date.
The company that manufactures this product………….The company manufacturing this product………………….
It is quite possible that we will lose the Adam contract for insufficient document.We may loss the Adam contract for…………………..
The duty of a secretary is to cheek all incoming mail and to record it.

In addition, it is his or her responsibility to keep the assignment book up to date.
A secretary cheeks and records all incoming mails and keeps the assignment book up to date.

Study words carefully and learn their precise meaning.

Words meaning the same thing may have shades of differences in meaning. Use them in the right context and meaning.

For example, fired, dismissed, canned, separated, and discharged refer to the same action, but they also have different shades of meaning, so the following: money, fund, cash, dough, bread, finances, ill, sick, poorly, weakly, delicate, thin, slender, skinny, slight, wispy, lean, willowy, rangy, spindly, wiry.

Use correct idiom.

An idiom is a word in which ideas are expressed in a language. There is little reason for some idioms, but violations will offend the reader. ‘Agree to’ a proposal, but ‘Agree with’ a person. ‘Careful about’ an affair, but ‘careful with’ your money.

Faulty IdiomCorrect Idiom
Authority aboutAuthority on
Comply toComply with
Enamored withEnamored of
Equally as badEqually bad
In accordance toIn accordance with
In search forIn search of
listen atlisten to
possessed with abilitypossessed of ability
seldom or everseldom If ever
superior thansuperior to

Use familiar jargon only.

Jargon means technical language. It is those specialized words, phrases, and abbreviations used by the people within a professional field to say precisely and economically what we mean.

JargonsEquivalent simple words
caveatwarning, word of caution
delineatedescribe
bite the bulletwhat should our game plan be?
Value judgementopinion
verbalizesay, put into words.
parametersoutlines, limits.

Use simple words instead of tedious language.

Some words may help you avoid ‘long way around’ to express an idea. Use those to keep your message simple.

Instead of following….just write……………
a large member of
a small number of
at this point in time
In the same way
At an early date
In the near future
Most of the time
without making any noise
as a result of
at a faster rate
not as good in quality
taken into consideration
In the event that
In view of the fact that
In the context of                    
prior to the start of
persons of adolescent age
people who almost always are late
in arriving
many
few
now, presently
similarly
soon soon
usually
.silently
consequently
faster, more quickly            
poorer, Inferior
consideration
If
knowing that,
considering that, aware of
before, preceding
Teenagers
habitually latecomers

Principle of Unity

Unity means oneness. Good communication must have unity among ideas, sentences, and facts. All parts of a sentence must combine to form one clear thought. The ideas composed in a message must be arranged in a uniform manner.

Similar information or thoughts should be grouped into one paragraph and be written in one lace. Unity in communication is violated due to the following reasons:

Unrelated ideas in a sentence violate Unity. So, correct it by:

  • Putting unrelated ideas in separate sentences, or
  • Making one idea subordinate to the other idea or
  • Adding words that show relationships among ideas.
UnrelatedImproved
Our territory is the southern
half of the state, and our
salespeople cannot cover It
thoroughly. We concentrate on energy-
saving products, and 70
percent of our business Is
from them
Our territory is the southern
half of the state. Our
salespeople cannot cover it
thoroughly. As a result of our
concentration on energy-
saving products, 70 percent of
business comes from them

Excessive detail is the cause of lack of unity.

So, if the detail is important, it is better to put it in a separate sentence.

Excessive detailImproved
Our New York office,
considered plush in the 1960s
but now badly in need of
renovation, as is the case with
most offices that have not
been maintained, have been
abandoned.
Considered plush In the
1960s, our New York offices
have not been maintained
properly. As they badly need
repair, we have abandoned
them.

Illogical construction can rob a sentence of unity.

Illogical constructions destroy sentence unity. It results primarily from Illogical thinking. So, use logical thinking to establish unity.

Illogical constructionImproved
Job rotation Is when you train
people by moving them from
job to job.
I never knew an executive
who was interested in helping
his workers who had got into
problems that caused them to
worry.
lob rotation is a training
method involving moving
people from job to job.
I never knew an executive
who was interested in helping
worried workers with their
problems.          

Paragraph design may be a cause of disunity.

The content of a paragraph should concern one topic or idea. The breadth of the paragraph of a business communication must be similar in size. It is better to keep the paragraph short.