This story first appeared in the February 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

How much does using the wrong words cost? According to IWCC Training In Communications, a consulting and training firm in Toronto, it can cost $4,258.60 for one employee's poorly worded memos for one year. Don't believe it? Here's the math:

54: Number of minutes spent planning, composing and editing a routine memo

4.2: Number of times a typical memo is rewritten

$81.90: Cost of writing the memo, based on an annual salary of $35,000

$4,258.60: Annual cost of one employee writing one memo per week based on the salary above

Or consider the case against e-mail:

Employees receive 25 to 30 messages daily and spend 60 to 75 minutes each day responding to the messages. Based on an annual salary of $35,000, at least $357.20 each month is wasted responding to poorly written or ambiguous e-mails and e-mails sent to the wrong people.