Resources – Shirley’s Articles For Reprint

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.
Shirley is a high-energy, high-content speaker who is passionate about motivating individuals to make a real difference in our automated world. With inspiring stories and a fun style, she engages audiences quickly, and encourages them to embrace high-touch as well as high-tech so they can connect with heart.

Shirley has been a trusted member of the professional speaking and training community for many years, and has received several awards for her services in leadership. She served as Asia Professional Speakers Singapore President 2011-12 and as Global Speakers Federation President 2017-18. She has spoken in almost 20 countries all over the world.

Author of 12 books published by international publishers, Shirley has established herself as a leading authority in workplace communication, business writing, and email. Her international bestseller Model Business Letters, Emails & Other Business Documents 7th edition has sold over half a million copies worldwide and been translated into 17 languages.

If you would like Shirley to speak at your next event, visit shirleytaylor.com.

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