In this fourth post in a series talking about the importance of choosing the right word when communicating, we look at colloquialisms. In business, using jargon like gobbledygook, clichés, colloquialisms, euphemisms, archaic words and wordiness can make sure you message is ‘lost in translation’.
Completely opposite to archaic words and gobbledygook which are formal or larger words, colloquialisms are casual expressions that people may have in conversations to create an air of informality. With the influx of social media, text and email communication – even in business – colloquialisms (or slang words) are creeping into our business writing and should be restricted.
In business, restrict colloquial words like the following. You probably shouldn’t use them at all, and they certainly should not have any place in a formal document.
- Text acronyms and abbreviations like ‘LOL’, ‘OMG’, ‘Thx’, ‘Gr8’, ‘C u L8r’
- Casual words like ‘Awesome’ or ‘Cool’
- ‘Total’ as in ‘totally cool’
- ‘Like’ as used instead of ‘um’ by many
- ‘Lots of’ instead of ‘many’
- ”Is after’ instead of ‘is looking for’
Also, if the reader of your document is not from Australia, think about whether you are using any Australian colloquialisms.
Next time in this series, we will look at euphemisms.