Tuesday, October 14, 2008

25 ways to say it better

cover of John Walston's book

Research tells us that short headlines rock.

The same rule applies to words. John Walston of the NoBull business blog (and author of the BuzzWord Dictionary) says one of the easiest business writing rules to remember is: Choose shorter words over longer words.

The simpler you keep it, the greater the chance the reader will read (rather than skim) your Web site copy, your e-mail, your memo or letter ---- and take action.

Take a look at these examples:

Instead of: The company looked at several viable alternatives that will facilitate optimizing our health benefits package.

Write: The company looked at a few options to improve our health benefits package.

Here’s a list of some long, heavy words to avoid and substitutions:

Instead of: Use:
accommodate ... serve
advise ... tell
affirmative ... yes
approximately ... about
cognizant ... know

You can read the rest of his list at Keep it Simple: 25 ways to say it better.

John's blogs are worth reading. He's a great writer (and my boss!) who really knows how to remove the dross and cut the bull. And let me tell you, John does not suffer from irritable male syndrome, that weird affliction that is getting a lot of traffic today on Google Trends.

PS. Yes, I am addicted to Google Trends.

Posted by Internet Marketing Report Online editor Julie Power


1 comment:

Dave J. said...

Okay, subscribed to John's blog!

Trends is fun...now I see Seth pointing to Twitter search, which looks equally addictive.