Posted by: episystechpubs | April 11, 2014

Editor’s Corner: Henceforth, no more Ms. Fancy-Pants!

The other day someone sent me an excerpt of an email she received. It said “Hereunto attached is the file I’ll be referencing in our conversation later today.” My response to her was, “You’re kidding me, right?”

Here are a few reasons that sentence is, well, horrible:

· Hereunto is pompous, archaic legalese

· Hereunto means “to this” (So, the writer is saying “To this attached is the file…” That may be okay for Yoda, but it is not acceptable for our business email.)

· The entire sentence is far too wordy. (How about: “I’ve attached the file I’ll be referencing later”? That is straight and to the point.)

The highfalutin, overly formal language the writer chose often backfires. Rather than seeming fancy and well-educated, the overall message is masked with the misuse of a term that throws the reader off from the start. Our job is to make things clear to our audience, not hide the message in awkward phrasing.

Here are a few terms you should avoid unless you are a lawyer:

Archaic Word Alternate Wording
aforementioned mentioned previously
foregoing preceding
forthwith immediately
henceforth (henceforward) from this point on
hereafter after this; from now on; in the future
hereinafter in the following part (of this note, letter, document)
heretofore until this time; before now
hereunto to this
herewith with this (included with a note, letter, document)
hitherto until now; before this time
thereafter after that
therewith with that
whatsoever whatever
wherein in what; in what way
whereinto into which
whereof with; by which
Whereon on what; on which
wheresoever wherever
whosoever whoever

Alternate wording courtesy of the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Happy Friday!

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

NOTICE: This electronic mail message and any files transmitted with it are intended
exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The message,
together with any attachment, may contain confidential and/or privileged information.
Any unauthorized review, use, printing, saving, copying, disclosure or distribution
is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please
immediately advise the sender by reply email and delete all copies.

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