We all agree that business writing should be clear, concise and direct, right?
What you may not know—and what many business writing experts also fail to realize—is that this attitude about writing is not universal.
The idea that you should “keep things simple, stupid” is culturally determined. For many writers whose first language isn’t English, the idea that “clarity is king” is greeted with surprise.
Different cultures, different views on writing
The disparity stems from differing cultural attitudes to the relationship between writers and readers. According to linguist John Hinds, in Anglo-Saxon cultures such as the U.K., the U.S. and Australia, the burden is on writers to make their meaning clear.