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WTF! Be careful of abbreviations in your business writing and e-mails

What do you think when you see WTF?

When I help organisations improve their business writing – I warn about the dangers of abbreviations.

word nerd CU


I share a real-life example of a writer who e-mailed a client with the message:

I resent the F Up. You must resign.

What the writer meant to say was:

I re-sent the Follow-up. You must re-sign.


I encourage writers to use the hyphen with re prefixes  (re-sign, re-send, re-cover) AND to avoid the abbreviation F UP!


Often in the quest for speed in business communication we use abbreviations – but abbreviations can be misunderstood.


Sometimes “more mature” workers try to sound modern by using abbreviations.


One smart young person in a recent session shared how a person kept using the expression WTF.

To them WTF meant Where’s The File!


This reminds me of the Modern Family joke – where “cool dad” Phil tries to get hip to text speak. He uses WFT incorrectly too.


Why the Face




I recommend you avoid abbreviations especially F Up and WTF. You can avoid F Ups – or  rather, I should write:

You can avoid  follow-ups where you have to explain your messages you sent earlier!





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TB lukla nepal

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious business communication tips.



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These days, lots of people and organisations need help with how to COPE with too much work, too much information, too many meetings, delivering difficult news, business writing, effective e-mail, e-mail overload, cross-cultural communication etc. I like to help people COPE.





One comment on “WTF! Be careful of abbreviations in your business writing and e-mails

  1. efangelist
    January 20, 2016

    Reblogged this on efangelist.

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