Keep it Short

A quote attributed to Winston Churchill in “The Wicked Wit of Winston Churchill” compiled by Dominique Enright offers one of the best rules for Clear Writing - “Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all.”

When writing any type of business report, memo, or communication, it’s best to remember:

  • Short and familiar words - limit jargon, technical terms and acronyms
  • Short sentences – a good average to keep in mind is 15-18 words
  • Short paragraphs – focus on the important idea with logical links between thoughts
The Osborne Group Principal Janet Carnegie offers Clear Language training to help those who want to write more clearly and connect effectively with any audience.


The Osborne Group has been helping organizations succeed since 1993. Based in Toronto, Ontario, The Osborne Group provides a wide range of professional interim management, project management, and coaching and consulting services to small and medium enterprises, not-for profit organizations, and the public sector.

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