A short message or record used for internal communication in a business.
Once the primary form of internal written communication, memorandums (or memos) have declined in use since the introduction of email and other forms of electronic messaging.
Etymology:From the Latin, "to bring to remembrance"
Examples and Observations:
- "Abide by this one main rule in every memo-writing situation:
(William Sanborn Pfeiffer, Technical Writing: A Practical Approach. Prentice Hall, 2003)
- How to Organize a Memo
"The following guidelines will help you structure a memo:
- Purpose of Memos
"Memos are used within organizations to report results, instruct employees, announce policies, disseminate information, and delegate responsibilities. Whether sent on paper, as emails, or as attachments to emails, memos provide a record of decisions made and actions taken. They also can play a key role in the management of many organizations because managers use memos to inform and motivate employees. . . .
"Adequate development of your thoughts is crucial to the clarity of your message, as the following example indicates:
- ABRUPT Be more careful on the loading dock.
- DEVELOPED To prevent accidents on the loading dock, follow these procedures:
- Check . . .
- Load only . . .
- Replace . . .
(Gerald J. Alred, Charles T. Brusaw, and Walter E. Oliu, Handbook of Technical Writing, 8th ed., Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006)