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4 College Essay Words You Shouldn’t Use in the Business World


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.

And this week, 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. What’s next? A high school that offers “Emoji” alongside French and Spanish? I’m only half kidding.

Frankly, 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.

Thanks to emoji, tweets and hashtags, I believe it’s OK to drop the fancy talk and sound more human.

Here are four classic college essay words that need to go. They’re too formal and stuffy.

Also check out my post on why we also shouldn’t use “such as.” 

1. However

Example in an email:

Thanks for sending me your presentation ahead of our big board meeting. I may not have time to look through it before the meeting. However, I will do my best.

Corrected version with “however” removed:

Thanks for sending me your presentation ahead of our big board meeting. I may not have time to look through it before the meeting, but I will do my best.

The sentence is smoother without “however.” Cut it loose.

2. Nevertheless

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 trying and update you on our status.

Now, the sentence sounds more natural.

3. Therefore

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 unveiling of our new logo.

Don’t overdo it and try to impress your boss. Speak in plain English.

4. Thus

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:

After college, I spent two years in Hong Kong and worked at an international bank. In that time, 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!

 

Featured image: Wicker Paradise (Flickr)

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