Business writing tip: use plain language for clarity

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Use everyday words rather than old fashioned / archaic words.

You are writing to express your ideas, not to impress your reader. Be careful when using jargons.

Instead of “Attached herewith please find …” – use “we have attached” or “we are attaching” (herewith is considered an archaic word!)

“Please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned” – “Please do not hesitate to contact me” or “Please contact Puan Fara at 03 8994 0090…”

Once a lawyer friend asked me for advice to write clear legal opinions. These opinions are read not only by the legal managers but also by other decision makers who may not have legal background. I told him to use plain language and conversational tone.

This means we need to paraphrase legal terms to layman terms – so that the readers can understand the content easily. The result – his opinions were easier to read and understand and the clients appreciate this very much.

Also, avoid long, complicating sentences (which seem to be a trademark of lawyers!)

The hallmark of a good writer is to simplify and convey complicated matters to the reader in a clear manner. As said by Leonardo Da Vinci, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

For more info and examples on plain language, I highly recommend this website: www.plainlanguage.gov