Everything Language and Grammar

Simple, Direct Language Is Always the Best Choice!

Posted by languageandgrammar on August 3, 2012

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever and Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities

I know it’s been a while, but we’re still here!

And what better way to come back from a break than by focusing on the most important way to improve communication: Keep it simple and direct.

Seriously, communication that is riddled with extra words, unnecessarily complicated language, and indirect thoughts (which seems to be every work email being sent today!) is muddled, boring, and difficult to comprehend.

On the other hand, every communication that is stripped of unnecessary words, simplified, and direct is a pleasure to read and easy to understand.

For more information, please see a writing tip that I wrote for my day job: Plain Language Is Not Boring Language.

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2 Responses to “Simple, Direct Language Is Always the Best Choice!”

  1. I totally agree! For most of my working life, I worked in State government (in Australia). It was there that I learned to be direct and to the point in my writing. Government ministers and senior public servants do not want to read waffle, they need to know what the issue is and what we’re going to do about it, pronto!

    Then I went out into the private sector as an assistant to a consultant town planner. Now in town planning, and particularly in consulting, the client wants to see that they’re getting value for money (and we charged a lot). While we could have achieved an approval with a five-page report, my employers believed that a 30-page report was a better reflection of the work involved – and the fee.

    Now, I’m back in government (and working part-time for myself) and I couldn’t be happier.

  2. Anne Wingate said

    Grammar and mechanics are always important, but style is almost as important, and diction may be more important. As Kipling put it, “The magic is in the words,” and if you choose the wrong words you are killing the soul of your work.

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