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Slang and Verbal Shorthand: Avoid the Pitfall!

Almost everyone uses verbal shorthand to some extent in casual conversation: using “yup” for “yes”, “k” for “okay”, “gonna” for “going to”, “wanna” for “want to” are all common ways of speaking. However, while using slang and verbal shorthand is a common and accepted way to speak with friends and casual acquaintances, this type of speech must be adapted when communicating in a business setting. Using verbal shorthand and slang can give the impression that you are unprofessional and even unintelligent. Often, this manner of speaking is so distracting to your colleague or customer, that your message itself is lost. In business communication, always err on the side of formality, and eliminate all slang from your professional speech.

This also includes written communication. With the increasing use of text and e-mail for casual interaction, initialisms like “LOL” or word substitutions like “2” for “to” or “b” for “be” are becoming increasingly common. While this may save time during casual texting and e-mail, these forms of writing have no place in formal business communication. Never use acronyms or shorthand when writing to someone in a professional setting. It may take a bit longer, but writing each and every word will give your written communication a professional edge and keep it from appearing sloppy.

Need more help sharpening your speech and eliminating slang from your vocabulary? A corporate speech-language pathologist can help! To learn how a professional voice and speech coach can help you to communicate your best, visit us at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com and improve your communication today!

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