6 Words to Cut Out of Your E-mails emmaleebenn March 18, 2016

6 Words to Cut Out of Your E-mails

E-mail etiquette is every professional’s must-have skill.

Unlike a face-to-face conversation, tone of voice and body language can’t be recognized in online communication. Words are the only thing to make your message clearly understood, but some should be avoided.

You may not realize it, but common words you type everyday can be perceived as indecisive or impolite. Here are 6 words to cut out of your e-mails to help improve e-mail etiquette:


The implication is intended to make you sound truthful, but it does the exact opposite. It implies that every other word you said beforehand may not be honest.

Honestly, it doesn’t prove anything.


Big sentence weakener. Unless it is being used a synonym for “fair” or “lawful”, skip it.

You just don’t need it!


The overuse of this word has become so common we generally don’t even notice how incorrectly it’s used. When you hear someone claim “literally, I think I might die” no one dials 911.

It is literally used to make things wayyyyy more dramatic.


The ‘M’ word makes you sound indecisive and uninformed, go for a simple yes or no instead.

Maybe it will make you seem more confident and sure…


The unofficial synonym for “well, duh”; it comes off as caustic and rude.

Obviously, you need to avoid it at all costs.


Adam Sinicki wrote the  article Why You Should Stop Saying Sorry (So Much). He states that “sorry” should be one of the hardest words for us to use:

“One of the big problems with saying sorry when something isn’t your fault is that it can lead people to assume that it is your fault… saying sorry a lot can make you seem less confident and even less competent, which can lead people to start taking advantage of you or even resenting you.”

If you have nothing to be sorry for, don’t use the word. Even if you do make a mistake go for “I apologize” or “in the future I will…” first.

Sorry but I hope this helps!

What are other words you think should be left out of e-mail correspondence? Leave a comment below or tweet @nonprofitstaff with your ideas!

By: Emma Bennett
NPR Associate and Event Planner
Connect with me on LinkedIn!

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