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Concreteness for effective business Communication

A letter, particularly a business letter should not be vague and general. Every business letter has an objective. The objective cannot be realized by vagueness in writing. In English and many other languages, words carry connotative and denotative meanings. Connotations keep growing constantly and one has to choose words appropriately. Commercialese (Business Jargon) that was in use till a little time ago is noted for its vagueness. In modern days, such expressions have been given up for more concrete forms. These are the expressions familiar in old times which have degenerated into cliches, conveying no denotative meaning and so are vague. The following are some of them.

1. I shall be obliged if you can kindly…

2. An order form is enclosed for your convenience.

3. We acknowledge the receipt of…

4. Awaiting the favour of your reply…

5. We beg to state…

6. As per your advice…

7. In due course…

Concreteness lies not only in cutting deadwood but also replacing them with more effective and precise words. Do not say the following because they are vague.

1. I am slightly unwell. (You can be unwell or not. How can any sickness be slight ?).

2. Interest rates have been marginally reduced, (say precisely the quantum of reduction). What is marginal to the finance minister may be huge to a person depending on interests.

A sentence becomes concrete if it is in the active voice. You should say “our team won the match”, rather than “The match was won by our team”. Do not say “We expect daily reports” but say “You should send daily reports”. In rare cases, where you do not want to sound authoritarian you may use the passive voice. That is why you say, “Smoking is prohibited” instead of saying who prohibited it. Occasionally, to achieve concreteness you can use idioms / phrases to project a vivid image. The following sentences provide a concrete image.

“Our Foreman is a human dynamo”.

“He treats brickbats as bouquets”

“John is the Casabianca of our group”

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • DANNIVIL OLOR February 3, 2011, 7:24 pm

    tnx for the information!!!

  • RONALD MANANDIG January 14, 2016, 12:02 pm

    tnx for the info… sounds helpful

  • Arinda Jordan February 7, 2022, 12:25 pm


  • hassan akhter January 18, 2023, 4:34 am

    oh nice this is the best informative website

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