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Great Grandfather LIVES!!

In my workshops I always joke about ‘Great Grandfather writing’ and wonder how come so many young people still use so many old-fashioned expressions. I tell people regularly that we should keep our business writing simple (KISS = keep it short and simple) and use everyday language that everyone understands.

The reason for this was brought home to me recently when a friend sent me this email that he had received from his accountants:

Dear Mr Johnson

Thank you for your email of even date. For the audit of Turner Communications Pte Ltd, kindly furnish us a copy of the company’s Balance Sheet, Expenses statements and all the invoices/bills (incorporation and legal fees, etc) paid by the holding company to our office at the earliest.

We will revert to you on the treatment of the Intangible Asset and the financials of Turner Communications Inc as soon as possible.

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best regards
Bernard Williams

 
What a load of gobbledegook and long-winded jargon! I knew people were still writing in an old-fashioned way, but it seems some people take this a little further than most – and this message just proves it!

In 21st Century business language, this message should read:

Dear Mr Johnson

Thank you for your email today.

For the audit of Turner Communications Pte Ltd, we will need a copy of the company’s Balance Sheet, Expenses statements and all the invoices/bills (incorporation and legal fees, etc) paid by the holding company. Please send these to me as soon as possible.

I will be in touch with you soon on the treatment of the Intangible Asset and the financials of Turner Communications Inc.

Please give me a call on xxxxxxx if you have any questions.

Bernard Williams

 
NB: “even date” was Great Grandfather’s term for ‘today’. When I was a secretary in 1973, my old Chairman used to use “ult” for last month and something else that I can’t remember for next month (if anyone can recall, please write and let me know).
 

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Shirley Taylor is a recognised leading authority on business writing and communication skills. For almost 30 years she has presented keynotes and training programmes that help people and organisations boost communication skills and develop great relationships both orally and in writing. Shirley is bestselling author of 12 books, including Model Business Letters, Emails and Other Business Documents, which has sold half a million copies worldwide and has been translated into many languages. If you would like Shirley to speak at your next event, visit www.shirleytaylor.com.

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