Business Writing Essentials
Clarity

Bloat

Your readers are just like you: they are busy people, and they don't have all the time in the world. They want to get to the main point of your message quickly. And there is one sure-fire way to make that not happen: fill your writing with bloated words and phrases.

Bloated Words

Replace fancy words with simple equivalents. For example, you can usually replace indication with sign, and banking facility with bank. We're used to hearing phrases like at this point in time, but we all know the speaker means now. Why not just use the simpler word in our writing?

Consider a bit of bloated blather:

To arrive at the finalization of the project, you may need financial resources for emergency situations.

Blast the bloat and leave it lean:

To finish the project, you may need money for emergencies.

Bloated Phrases

Get rid of phrases that are unnecessary. For example, there is seldom a good reason for beginning a sentence with, I should mention that. The same goes for the phrase, It has come to our attention that. If you don't rid your writing of this sentence bloat, readers will have no choice but assume you are a self-important, throat-clearing, pompous fool. And not in a good way.

Consider another bit of bloated blather:

This letter is to advise you that your office is in the process of being cleaned; it should also be noted that extra work is required to be carried out on the carpets.

Blast the bloat and leave it lean:

This letter is to advise you that your office is in the process of being cleaned; it should also be noted that extra work is required to be carried out on the carpets.

Here are a few more bloated sentence openers to use if you want to announce how much more important or intelligent you are than the reader is:

I would stress that ...

I must point out that ...

It should be noted that ...

It goes without saying that ...

The fact of the matter is that ...

The point I would like to make is that ...

Also, simple words can replace some bloated phrases:

about: as regards, in reference to, concerning the matter of

believe: am of the opinion that

can: is able to, has the ability to, is in a position to

have: am in receipt of

require: involve the necessity of

when: on the occasion of, in a situation in which, under circumstances in which

Lesson: Bloat
Module: Clarity
Course: Business Writing Essentials