Tamsin Constable

Car-crash jargon

Two-and-a-half years ago, I had a crash. It wrote my car off and left me with whip-lash. I’ve had months of correspondence with my solicitors about compensation. Here’s one of the latest:

Dear Ms Constable

The third party’s accountants have duly returned back to our offices stating that they have now increased to make up on their previous offer. I have returned back to them one final time in an attempt to negotiate an increase upon the same. I will return to you further in due course. (52 words)

Here are my thoughts.

That’s a lot of jargon for such a short letter.
Jargon obscures the message and alienates the reader.
Do the solicitors realise this?
If not, why not?
If they do, why do it?
Do I have any reason to be cynical?
There’s fluff. I don’t need to know that they’ve heard back from the third party’s accountants. Of course they have, that’s what the letter’s about.
Repetition weakens writing. There’s a lot of ‘returning’ going on here.

Here’s my version.

Dear Ms Constable

The third party’s accountants have increased their offer. I have written back one last time to try to negotiate more. When I hear from them, I will let you know. (30 words)

Their evaluation form specifically asks me to comment on their written communications. I think I’ll refer them to this post…

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