Workplace Writing Power Points – ‘Very’

One of my favorite engaged readers mentioned a one-day ‘English Refresher’ course he took years ago in which the professor stressed never using the word very.  My response was very focused and very brief.

I indicated that I wasn’t much of a traditional grammar purist – which regular readers know so well – and that I enthusiastically advocate a casual and conversational workplace writing style. I’ve also heard about not using ‘very‘, not ending sentences in prepositions, not starting sentences with ‘And’, not using ‘that’, not writing in first person, not using contractions and not using slang from similar traditionalists trapped forever in the 1950s.

I do all of those things because that’s how a lot of people talk in my world, including me. I regularly rant about ‘write like you talk … but with focus and finesse’. So, effective workplace writing should sound like people talking to people … on paper or screen.

So, do what makes you comfortable as you project a very clear image of your language style values through what you write at work.

And do send me your comments or questions on any of the workplace communication topics covered here. That would be something I’d be very happy to respond to.

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