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Conciseness / Brevity for effective business Communication

We have already seen that a business letter should be brief. You have to say what you want to say in the briefest possible manner. The wisdom of ages is reflected in proverbs and short verses. Thirukkural is famous for its brevity as well. Conciseness makes a letter readable and interesting.

A Concise letter avoids verbiage, that is use of unnecessary words. It avoids tautology which means repetition of the same idea in different words. It also avoids PLEONASM the use of more words than necessary. Superficiality would be eliminated. All irrelevant matter and words are eliminated. Compare these two sentences.

“We were not able to send the goods in time due to the fact that the truckers were on strike”.

“We were unable to send the goods in time because of the truckers’ strike “.

The second sentence by elimination of unnecessary words has become concise.

Do not say. “our office will acquire a new centrally air-conditioned set up in due course” but say, “soon we will centrally air-condition our office”. Do not say, “Permit me to thank you profusely”, but just say, “Thank you”. We often come across letters that say, “I am enclosing herewith the demand draft as required by you”. It is not only verbose but also is grammatically unacceptable. “Herewith” makes a tautological error, that is an unnecessary repetition. You can simply say, “Enclosed is the d/d”.

Examine the following pairs of sentences. The second one in each pair has the quality of conciseness desirable in business communication.

1. We are enclosing a pre-paid postal envelope with a response sheet to indicate a convenient date by you to appear for an interview for the post of Project Manager in our Company for which position you have applied and this is in response to your application.

In response to your application, we request you to intimate the convenient date for an interview with us. A prepaid envelope is enclosed.

2. We would be thankful if you could despatch to our mailing address 75 pieces of your new aqua filters on receipt of this mail order with enclosed draft.

Please send at the above address 75 new aqua filters. The draft enclosed will cover the cost and transit charges.

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