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Chapter 27. The Business Letter > Write the Way You Talk

Write the Way You Talk

A business letter should be clear, direct, and businesslike. But it should also sound like it was written by a human being and not a machine. Business writing is often cold, stiff, and unnatural. Unthinking writers fall back on business cliches and passive sentences. They try to disguise uncertainty in a cloud of words. According to editor Malcolm Forbes, business writers should be positive, be nice, and be natural. Be natural—write the way you talk, says Forbes. This is good advice. Compare these two sentences:

NO: I acknowledge receipt of your letter and I beg to thank you.


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