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Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Bizspeak Blacklist | Bryan A. Garner

Renowned writing authority Bryan A. Garner continues his blog series on business writing. The series draws on advice in Garner's new HBR Guide to Better Business Writing. Featured in this blog post for the Harvard Business Review: "a roster of words and phrases that under no circumstances (except perhaps in a damning quote) [should] find their way into print."

He adds:
Of course, it's just a starting point — add to it as you come across other examples of bizspeak that hinder communication by substituting clich├ęs for actual thought.
For examples of the bizspeak Garner dismisses, check this chart from his post and book:

translateyourbizspeak.gif

Garner writes:
Bizspeak may seem like a convenient shorthand, but it suggests to readers that you're on autopilot, thoughtlessly using boilerplate phrases that they've heard over and over. Brief, readable documents, by contrast, show care and thought — and earn people's attention.
Of course, Garner's advice also applies to writing for nonprofit, public, and academic organizations and agencies. Garner's blog post ends with links to his earlier posts of excerpts from the HBR book.

Besides Garner's book on business writing--and the excellent Garner's Modern American Usage--my websites on plain language and concise writing offer advice to help you meet the needs of your readers.

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Garner's post is featured in the March 23 edition of my daily online paper, Garbl's Plain English Paragraphs, available at the Plain Language tab above and by free email subscription.

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