Despite the trend toward more casual business copy, I’ve noticed that certain words still crop up on websites, in letters, and on blogs with a fair amount of frequency. These are words I dub “Businessese”–words that sound formal and business-like but don’t add any real strength to the copy itself. They’re words that may have been meaningful at one point, but due to overuse, they’ve lost any real punch. They may be words that came with the author from some other setting, such as the military or law enforcement. Or they may be words that are stuck in our heads from middle school composition classes when our teachers encouraged us to write “formal” business letters.
The problem with most of these words is that they put up a wall between the business and the audience. (more…)