How To Define And Use Appropriate Language?

The single most important thing that you can do as a student, an employee or as a professional of any sort is to use appropriate language in your written and verbal communication. In an academic or professional setting, it is crucial to always be putting your best self forward. This means taking care to make a great impression and portraying yourself as someone who is mature, competent, professional, and driven to success.

The use of inappropriate language, whether that be in written or in oral form, will only project a negative image and can do a great deal to damage your credibility. It might even offend or insult the people around you.

Guidelines for Use of Appropriate Language

When it comes to using appropriate language at school or in the workplace, there are eight guidelines that you can following to make sure that you are always carrying yourself in a professional and courteous manner.

8 Tips to Help You Use Appropriate Language

  1. Always use proper English and try to be as grammatically correct as possible

What is appropriate language when you are in your office? Regardless of who you are speaking to, when you are at work, it is important the you refrain from using slang and always use proper English (This is the type of English that you would have been taught in school, would read in most books, on official correspondences, etc.) when writing and speaking.

If you come from an area where English is not your first language, or there is some form of locational dialect, do what you can to try to speak in proper English. Be mindful of how other professional around you speak and you should begin to notice how you can improve.

  1. Follow the formality of the situation.

Whenever you are speaking in an informal setting, or when you are writing an informal piece of correspondence, it is acceptable to use less formal English. However, you should always endeavor to remain professional and polite.

  1. Never use profanity or abusive language

There is never an acceptable time to use profane or abusive language in the workplace.

  1. Never use off-color, biased, sexist or derogatory language in writingor verbally.

Steer clear of conversations that use sexist or bias language. Try to be sensitive to racial, ethnic, religious, or other groups. Never make generalizations or comments about stereotypes and do not engage in any sort of joking that makes fun of someone based on those things.

  1. Do not use slang.

It is best to avoid using any kind of slang in the workplace. Even if that slang is common or used in other settings. Remember that certain idiomatic expressions might be regional, and to some, they might even be offensive.

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  1. Be mindful of using jargon or technical talk

Jargon and technical speak needs to be used sparring. Particularly if you are writing for a general audience. If you do feel that you need to use jargon or other technical terms, remember to define those terms so that everyone knows what you are talking about.

  1. Be as polite as you can without sounding fake

Your mother engrained in you at an early age the importance of remembering to say please and thank-you and using your manners at the dinner table, the same can be said at the board room table. You will go much further, and create more lasting relationships with colleagues and clients if you treat them with respect and show that you are sincere.

  1. Improve your skills by learning

To hone your communication skills, and to learn how to better use appropriate language when writing or speaking, consider taking a workshop or a seminar so that you can learn new techniques and practice in an informal setting.

Things to keep in mind when communicating in the workplace

As a professional, you never want to run the risk of poor word choice standing in the way of the message that you are trying to deliver. With this in mind, it is essential that you make the effort to use only the most appropriate and accurate language for the specific situation that you are in.

Take the time to better understand that words that you commonly confuse with others. Stay away from jargon, unless you know for certain that your audience knows what you are talking about, and try not to use outdated words or phrases. Be as upfront in your writing as you can, euphemisms are easily confused.

You should always be straightforward and mindful of the level of formality that is required for the specific content that you are writing. This means that whenever you are writing for someone superior to you, or whenever you are writing a report or some form of academic paper or professional document you should always make use of complete sentences, never use abbreviations or ‘text lingo’ and take care in how you address the recipient of any document.

You wouldn’t write to your history professor or the CEO of your company using the same style that you would write to you grandmother or your best friend.

  • Be aware of the fact that there are words that are commonly confused with other words
  • Always strive to use appropriate language and stay away from slang or jargon
  • Write in a clear and concise manner that mimics the level of formality required for the specific situation

Make sure that you always examine the subject matter and that what you write is factual and clear