Whether you provide a professional writing service or you write because your boss tells you to, new and revealing data about how your brain works can guide you. One example: using positive language is beneficial to the brain and helps you avoid confusion and penetrate your target audience.
You need an effective and interactive website to support your business. But you slap together copy for the site – based on an old brochure, perhaps – and check it off your bulging to-do list. Or you keep putting it off, because you realize, correctly, that website copywriting is not as easy to do as you initially thought. Sound familiar?
With social and traditional media burning up with all kinds of questionable information and messages, it’s a good time to make sure you’re targeting your communications to the people you want to reach. Can you visualize that person, understand his or her needs and frustrations, and address them? If so, you’ll have a much better chance to connect and they’ll be willing to listen.
But in today’s hyped-up media world, you also have to address and overcome the fine art of baloney detection, a term coined by the late, great public scientist Carl Sagan, who shared his thoughts about upholding reason in the face of shameless untruths and propaganda.
I feel the same way about the F words “facilitate” and “foster.” Could there be any two words that are more convoluted and vague? Why are these words so commonly used today when just 10 years ago, they were hardly used at all?
If you’ve ever thought about how fast our language – and therefore our culture – is changing, you only need a handful of random examples to prove the point. Writers, especially, must be keenly sensitive to these changes to remain relevant, or risk being dismissed outright.
Each new year brings resolutions. But instead of the familiar ones (you know, more exercise, better eating), how about a commitment to lose clichés and unnecessary words, so your writing and speaking are as smooth and clear as a mountain stream?