When I was a young associate in a law firm, I walked past a senior partner’s office and overheard him dictating a letter. In a loud, confident voice he started “[Dear so and so], I was amazed and shocked…” He then paused for a moment. After a few seconds, he rewound the tape and re-recorded “I was shocked and amazed…” Pleased with the change, he continued.
Why do I tell this story? All too often we agonize to find the perfect words – usually incorporating overused adjectives or resorting to hyperbole - to convey emotion. The reality though is people are spoken to and at all day long. The competition for registering an idea or comment with their busy brains is fierce. So why make it harder on them by burying the one gem you’d like to impart?