Business Writing Essentials
Clarity

Fluff

We often use trivial words and phrases when we speak, but we should try to avoid them in our writing at work. It just makes for longer sentences for our readers to slog through. They're busy people—let's not burden them unnecessarily. Here are some kinds of fluff to watch out for:

(Fluffy) Qualifiers that don't say much:

Chris was very aware that the little trouble we had was rather unfortunate.

(Fluffy) Identifiers that don't add much:

The supervisor who is in charge wrote a report that was about overtime charges which were filed last month.

(Fluffy) Modifiers that don't clarify much:

That particular service was actually expanded because various customers have pretty much gravitated to shopping online for virtually all their holiday gifts.

Other culprits:

basically X

certain X

definitely X

generally X

given X

individual X

kind of X

practically X

really X

sort of X

specific X

type of X

If you can manage to keep this kind of fluff out of your writing at work, people who read your words will view your writing as vigorous and will view you as someone who is focused on getting things done.

Lesson: Fluff
Module: Clarity
Course: Business Writing Essentials