Business Writing Tip #77—More on Plain Words

Auguste Rodin-The Kiss-Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek-Copenhagen
You may get sick of me talking about using plain English, but it is important. Consider how many people you talk to or write to who aren’t native English speakers.

Have you heard of the KISS principle? Originally KISS stood for ‘Keep it Simple, Stupid!’, but I prefer ‘Keep it simple and straightforward’.

Here’s a list of 25 expressions that are commonly used and suggestions on how to express them in plain English.

with the exception of except
with reference to about
until such time as until
time period period, time
is authorised to can, may
is applicable to applies to
in the near future shortly, soon
in the event of if
in the amount of amounting to, for
in relation to about, to, with
in regard to about, concerning, on
in order to to
in order that so
in lieu of instead of
in close proximity near
in addition also, besides, too
in a timely manner on time, promptly
for a period of for
during the period of during
due to the fact that because, due to, since
at the present time now
as a means of to
an appreciable number of many
afford an opportunity allow, let
a number of some, many


3 thoughts on “Business Writing Tip #77—More on Plain Words

  1. It bothers me to see the misspelling of organize (organize) or authorize (authorise) in your articles. Are you aware of this or is this common in another country?

    • One of the fun things I enjoy about English is its variety! UK English and US English have some different spellings. Other examples include colour (color), labour (labor), neighbour (neighbor) and centre (center). We also have different pronunciations for some words (laboratory) and, in some cases, different meanings (momentarily).

      In Australia we use s or z in organise, but I personally prefer the s.

      The important thing is to be consistent.

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