Modern business language is simple, easy to understand, friendly and courteous. Personal relations with customers are cultivated by writing friendly letters in a natural and informal style. Old fashioned business language is not suitable for modern business methods and practice.
Letters convey messages; letters must also build goodwill and create positive and pleasant feelings in the reader. Whatever the message of the letter may be, the writer must try to get a favourable emotional response from the reader. A large amount of written material reaches the desk of every businessman executive; there is a great deal of competition for the reader’s attention and interest. The brief contact with the reader that a letter makes must be pleasant and memorable.
Avoiding Business Jargon
Jargon means the vocabulary and phrases peculiar to a particular trade or profession. The term “business jargon” refers to the words and phrases which businessmen used in the old days for writing letters; it is also called commercialese, a word which shows contempt for the style. This style had developed in the nineteenth century when businessmen were poorly educated, and tried to give themselves an air of importance by using semi-legal terms and by putting on a show of elaborate politeness. Business people today are well-educated and write good English. Letters, reports, memos and notes are written in simple style which is easy to understand.
Unfortunately, some companies still continue with the old ways of writing, and fill their letters with jargons. Given below, is a list of ugly, out-dated words and phrases which are found in the letters of some old-fashioned companies and government departments. They fail to make personal contact with the customer/reader; they are to be rigorously avoided. The following jargon phrases/sentences often occur in the opening paragraph of letters :
>> Referring to your favour of 17th inst. we have to state that...
>> In compliance with your esteemed letter of even date, we beg to inform you...
>> We beg to advise you...
>> We beg to acknowledge receipt of...
>> This is to inform you...
>> Attached / enclosed herewith please find...
In the closing paragraph the following jargon phrases/sentences are found; they fail to leave any friendly impression on the reader.
>> Thanking you in anticipation
>> Assuring you of our best services at all times
>> Trusting to be favoured with further orders
>> At your earliest convenience
>> ...in due course of time
>> We hope that the position is now clear.
In the contents of letters, the following jargon phrases appear :
>> said matter
>> deem it advisable
>> as per your letter
>> wherein you state
>> please be advised
>> we wish to state
Such terms must be avoided. They are unfriendly and pompous; they waste the typist's time, and confuse the meaning.