Who needs English when you have emoji? We love to include a birthday cake, heart, smiley face or even a pile of poo to describe the mood or moment, right?
And recently, Facebook launched — at long last — Facebook Reactions, which gives us a range of emoji to share how a post makes us feel (we can choose from Like, Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad and Angry). Combine emoji with tweets and hashtags, and it’s like we created a new Internet-based language!
Frankly, that language (Emoji 101?) would be better than the writing style so many of us carry from college to the business world. It’s like we’re trapped in “essay mode” with long-winded sentences and SAT words.
Thankfully, as many recent graduates have learned, it’s OK to drop the fancy talk and sound more… human!
Along with “before and after” examples, here are four classic college essay words that should never find their way into a business-focused document. (Also check out my post on why we also shouldn’t use “such as.”)
Example in an email:
“Thank you for sending me your presentation ahead of our big meeting. I may not have time to look through it before we meet. However, I will do my best.”
Corrected version with “however” removed:
“Thanks for sending me your presentation ahead of our big meeting. I may not have time to look through it before we meet. I’ll do my best.”
The communication is much smoother, and more sincere, without “however.” Cut it loose.
Example in a report to your team:
“We ran several tests with the new platform and don’t feel we’re ready to push it live. Nevertheless, we will keep trying and update you on our status.”
Corrected version with “nevertheless” removed:
“We ran several tests with the new platform and don’t feel we’re ready to push it live. Our team will keep working; we’ll update you on our status.”
Now, the sentence sounds more natural; more conversational.
Example in a memo to your boss:
“The client was late to the grand opening and therefore was unable to see the unveiling of our new logo.”
Corrected version with “therefore” removed:
“The client was late to the grand opening and didn’t see the new logo.”
Don’t try to impress your boss with this 50 cent word. Speak in plain English.
Example in a cover letter:
“After college, I spent two years in Hong Kong and worked at an international bank. Thus, I became familiar with a variety of currencies in Asia and Europe.”
Corrected version with “thus” removed:
“I spent two years in Hong Kong and worked at an international bank. While there, I worked with a variety of currencies in Asia and Europe.”
You’re not a Greek philosopher. “Thus” doesn’t belong in job applications.
What other “college essay” words and phrases do we need to remove? Share below!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at News to Live By!
About the Author: Danny Rubin is a communications expert for the millennial generation. He also writes the blog News To Live By, which highlights the career advice “hidden” in the headlines. His work has appeared on Huffington Post, Business Insider and the New York Times. Follow him @DannyHRubin