Shirley's Articles / Email Essentials

It’s Time To Question The Norms In Your Email Writing

Since my recent articles, the conversations about writing style are still continuing, and that’s a good thing. It means people are really thinking about the way you are writing emails and other business documents.

Some people have asked me whether social media has had an impact on our business writing. This is a great question, and the answer is yes.

Social media has reshaped the way we communicate

Younger people in the workplace today were born with social media. They know how to communicate concisely, using fewer words, images, stories. But what happens when they go out into the corporate world?

Very often, they get caught in the prison of the old corporate ways by writing long-winded, template-style jargon that bears little resemblance to a conversation between two real live human beings.

This is probably because they are influenced by what they see other people doing. Perhaps they see colleagues and bosses writing “Please find attached”, “Please be informed”, “Kindly be advised” and “above-mentioned/below-mentioned”, etc, so they just follow suit.

Times change. We must change too.

Within a few decades we’ve gone from horse and carriage to driverless cars. We’ve gone from manual typewriters to super-powered computers. Our whole world has changed. It’s time for our business writing to change too.

Today, readers want to read messages that are simple, clear and understandable. Readers need to know exactly what to do and how to reply. Writers must use plain language that’s easy to write, easy to read, and easy to understand. This involves using short, clear sentences and everyday words, in active voice, with no redundancies. It means writing like a human, not a template!

It’s time to question the norms!

Throughout history, our style of communication has always been shaped by the times we are living in. Right now, it’s 2019, and we are living in Age of Creativity. It’s time to question the norms! Don’t just accept what’s been happening in your company for years, perhaps decades. Do something about it.

It will take only one person to raise the issue in a meeting, or in a discussion with your boss. You could start a huge ripple effect that could really make a difference – a human difference!

So, are you going to question the norms in your organisation? I’d love to know.

How can I help?

Over the past 20 years, I’ve helped a lot of individuals and organisations with this challenge of transforming their writing skills. I’d love to help you and your organisation! Contact me today at

All articles are copyright © Shirley Taylor. All rights reserved. This information may not be distributed, sold, publicly presented, or used in any other manner, except as described here.

Permission to reprint all or part of any article in your magazine, e-zine, website, blog or organisation newsletter is granted, as long as:

  1. The entire credit line below is included*.
  2. The website link to is clickable (live)**.
  3. You send a copy, PDF, or link of the work in which the article is used when published.

This credit line must be reprinted in its entirety to use any articles by Shirley Taylor:

* Credit line:
© Shirley Taylor.
Shirley is an international bestselling author. She has established herself as a leading authority in email and business writing skills. Her international bestseller Model Business Letters, Emails & Other Business Documents 7th edition sold over half a million copies worldwide and has been translated into 17 languages. Her book Email Essentials reached #2 in the USA for publishers Marshall Cavendish International. Find out more about Shirley at

** The website link to must be clickable to receive permission to reprint the article.