The silly season is upon us again. Amongst other things, that means swinging into those annual routines around the office. Dusting off the decorations, planning the parties ... and composing the greeting cards or emails. Now that last task might sound fairly ho-hum, but it is a good example of how even a small amount of thought can make a big difference to your writing.
Most people approach Christmas cards and their kin as mass produced fodder. A pile of cards is circulated; signatures are scrawled in writing that would make a doctor baulk; the cards are fed into mail merged envelopes and sent off. Job done. At the other end, each greeting card is pulled out, glanced at, and slotted onto the venetian blinds.
The effect of this process, whether in cards or emails, is the same as the effect of using words like ‘outcome’ and ‘going forward’: that is, nothing sticks.