OK, the actual title is "How to Be a Better Writer: Why You Should Include 'Fluff' in Your Business Writing,' but my submitted article was titled "In Defense of Fluff." Anyways, I was really happy to see this as AllBusiness.com is the most popular general business website I've gotten an article published in so far.
As I note in the piece,
The reason fluff can be necessary is that nonverbal communication lacks an enormous amount of nuance. Psychologists have argued that most communication is nonverbal (possibly as much as 93%). Yet emails, memos, and letters contain only words. Body language is left out and tone is relegated to the inadequate tool of punctuation. In written communication, jokes can become insults, irony can become prejudice, sarcasm can become matter-of-fact statements, and miscommunication can become the norm.
This goes against most of what I heard in business school, namely that fluff is evil incarnate and you should "boil down your corporate memos to the raw essentials." There is some truth in this, but it's not that simple in my opinion. Yes, get rid of extraneous stuff, but make sure that you use whatever fluff is necessary to soften things and make sure your point is clear.
Check the article out here.
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