Remember when Cheap Trick serenaded Budokan with “I endeavor you to endeavor me/I desire you to desire me”? No, you don’t quite remember the lyrics sounding like that?


Why did Robin Zander and company sing “I want you to want me/I need you to need me” instead of the substitutions in the last paragraph? Heck, “want” and “need” are short, boring words. They wouldn’t impress anyone, would they?


Rick Nielsen would have used words like “endeavor” had he fallen prey to a common misconception. Businesspeople who write letters and memos believe that their messages will be far more impressive if they use bigger words. So instead of “we want to serve your needs,” we get “we endeavor to serve your needs.” Why use “we need to meet” when you can type “we are desirous of arranging a meeting”? Because it doesn’t impress anyone, and because it’s actually less communicative.


But Robin and Rick knew that everyone understands “want” and “need.” They’re easy, they’re communicative, and they’re effective. The next time you write a memo, a letter, or an email, remember their example and keep it simple. I’m beggin’ you.