Ten Phrases to Avoid in Writing
by Martin Cohn

Here's a list of ten no-no's I keep by my computer that turn readers off. Since some people make judgments based on your writing style, I would suggest that you avoid these phrases.

1. To be perfectly honest. This implies that everything else is dishonest.

2. Needless to say. Why do you have to say it if it's needless?

3. Enclosed herewith, please find. Find is redundant. Just use "enclosed is".

4. For your perusal, review and consideration. This phrase went out in the 18th century.

5. As you know or as you are well aware, or as per our conversation. It's insulting to tell people what they already know or to suggest that they can't remember talking to you.

6. I am writing this letter to inform you that... Obviously, you are writing, it's a letter, and the letter informs.

7. At your earliest convenience or as soon as possible. Give a specific date without being vague. After all, you may mean next week but 2013 might be more convenient for the reader.

8. Please be advised that. This is a meaningless statement.

9. Please rest assured. Should the reader take a nap?

10. If you should have any further questions or please do not hesitate to contact me. Just say "Please call if you have any questions."