Is there a term for back-and-forth communication that is both concise and professionally appropriate?

Additional context: In writing documentation for a company process, I want to encourage people to share full scheduling information in the initial communication in order to minimize the amount of back-and-forth that occurs. This is formal writing, so I'm looking for a phrase or a term that is less casual than "back-and-forth."

For example, if I am trying to schedule a meeting with a John Doe, I could do it the short way or the long way. I want to use this documentation to explicitly encourage staff to do it the short way.

The short way: I send John Doe all of my availability in a particular time window, and he selects one that works for him. Finished.

The long way: I propose that we meet on Tuesday at 3pm. He can respond that he is busy all day on Tuesday, but how about Wednesday morning. I can respond that I am free on Wednesday morning at 11:30. He can respond that he has a call at 11:45, so how about 11:00? I can respond that I'd prefer to have my meetings later in the morning, so I can do it after his 11:45 call is over. He agrees. Finished

  • What words have you found as synonyms? What words have you found not to your liking?
    – lbf
    Jul 11, 2018 at 13:16
  • back-and-forth [x] is not casual per se. Whatever gives you that idea?? "the exchange of multiple e-mails between individuals". reduce the volume of e-mails, also.
    – Lambie
    Jul 11, 2018 at 13:56

3 Answers 3


"Dialogue" or "discussion" seems best for a "back and forth" formal conversation about a narrow business topic. This can be opposed to "banter" which would be "back and forth" of broad topic and very non-formal.




I'd use "correspondence". Hope that helps.

  • 1
    Answers are expected to have a little more meat here; a definition, and pointing out how or why this word works, noting any shortcomings it might have, and so on, would flesh out this answer and improve it. As it is, this is a good suggestion, but the system is telling reviewers that “This answer was flagged as low-quality because of its length and content,” and I am finding it hard to justify hitting the “Looks OK” button with such a minimal answer that really could use more detail.
    – KRyan
    Jul 11, 2018 at 14:57

I always use Dialogue. As professional as it gets, no need to look far.

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