Is your organization communicating to key audiences with bloated text, grammatical and stylistic mistakes or unfocused messaging? Clear, persuasive writing is critically important. Your company’s reputation – and your ability to attract clients or motivate associates – depends on it.
I’ve been thinking about writing a column on this subject for a long time. Then I saw that Frank Bruni of the Times beat me to it, and did so beautifully. I couldn’t have said it better myself, so I won’t try.
It’s becoming abundantly clear that our technology does not necessarily help us increase our language (and writing) skills or our ability to learn. My fellow writers and communication professionals – and especially parents – should take heed.
Mark Twain is supposed to have said, “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
An obituary got me thinking. The obituary announced the death of renowned Arkansas poet Miller Williams, who was celebrated for using everyday language in his verse. The short poem cited in the piece – titled “Compassion” – moved me, as it did Miller’s daughter, the country singer Lucinda Williams, who used her father’s spare lines in a song:
According to common wisdom in neuroscience, about 98 percent of our thoughts are unconscious and automatic, carried out by the neural system. We believe we think freely, but we actually don’t very much.