Business English

Business English Articles

Business English has its own, distinct characteristics. The vocabulary you need depends on the sector, and the culture of the business you are in. 

We will publish articles here that cover most general business situations.

With dictionary look up - double-click any word to find its definition.

Edited by Lynne Hand

What passwords do you choose on the internet? No don’t tell me!  That would be really silly.  I was really asking how you arrive at your choice. Some companies insist on including numbers, some want at least one capital letter, and others insist on the password having at least 8 characters, some require all of the above - a mixture of  letters, punctuation, symbols, and numbers.  All of which is why I’d be lost without my little black book, because no matter what they say about not writing down your password, it’s the only way I can possibly remember them all.  To be honest, I would prefer to use just one password, but I have been assured that this isn’t a good idea, as far as security is concerned.


Most neophyte workers or even freshly graduated members of the workforce will jump into jobs without knowing their job descriptions. This practice is understandable. Many of these fresh graduates are just glad to have gotten a job and will try to avoid being to nosy or pushy when it comes to work. They may think that ‘demanding’ a job description will be an added negative to their employer’s impression of them.

This could not be more wrong. Employers, in general, delight in employees that ask about their job description. This shows that the employee has an interest in knowing the specifics of his or her job and would like to know what his or her specific responsibilities are. Here are a few other reasons why job descriptions are truly important to employees and even to those who are searching for jobs.


Even though public speaking is one of the things people fear most, it is a great way to build confidence and your language skills at the same time. Now, you may not pen an exquisite piece destined to stir a nation (but who knows, maybe one day you will). However, you can certainly learn the basics of speech writing to serve you well in school, in business, or in any organization where you devote your time.

Photo by Fairfax County

Every day brings news about more layoffs, companies shutting down and escalating levels of unemployment. It's no wonder that students and employees find the entire situation overwhelming. In today's market, traditional forms of employment are becoming tougher to come by and looking for that 'perfect' job may seem impossible. But all is not lost. There are still some industries that are going strong and some perhaps doing better than ever before. These are the careers that will lead the future of business and discovering them at a time like this is invaluable. The earlier you start planning for these specific careers, the safer your future will be once the economy has regained stability.



We all want to believe that practicing good ethics in both our personal and professional lives is the right thing to do; that we should not wrong, cheat, or defraud others. The reality though is we have allowed unscrupulous ethical practices to creep into our lives like a vine that starts at the root and, if left unchecked, slowly climbs the tree and eventually strangles it. The current recession is indicative of how we are all having to pay a hefty price for ethical corruption, e.g.; companies are closing, people are out of work, houses have been foreclosed, retirement funds are depleted causing people to work longer and creating a crowded job market for young people to enter. Some would say the recession is a simple matter of economics and nothing else. Nonsense.



We've been reading about the future in Skype.  Not about horoscopes, but about figuring out what might happen in the future.  Here's an article from John Prytz about the concept of Futurology.

Prophecy isn't all balderdash. I make this prophecy that the Sun will rise tomorrow morning in New York City! I also make this prophecy that New York City will experience at least one thunderstorm between May and September 2011. Further, I'll make another prophecy that there will be at least one murder in New York City in the month of June, 2011. But, if I make a prediction that aliens will invade New York City in 2011; some New Yorkers will experience the Biblical Rapture in 2011; or that planetary alignments suggest that 90% of couples living in Manhattan will divorce in 2011, well you'd call that balderdash. So, what's the dividing line between making balderdash prophecies and making sensible predictions?