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The Write Stuff

Business Correspondence 101: Write it as you would say it.

This story appears in the August 1999 issue of

Forget about starting a letter with "Pursuant to your request" or "Enclosed herewith"--at least if you expect your readers to get beyond the first line without falling asleep. The same goes for cumbersome phrases like "would like to take this opportunity," "along the lines of" and "in view of the fact."

While "write it as you say it" sounds easy enough, it can be surprisingly hard to pull off, particularly if you're trying to use stuffy, overblown language--also known as 50-cent words--to impress a potential customer. If you intimidate or fail to impress your customer, the only sure thing you pull off is losing that customer, says Bob Lang, training manager with Pinnacle Bay Resource Group, an that trains businesses in , business , change and equipment.

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