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Why does it take so long to write?

“The best writing is rewriting.” (E. B. White)

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Writing secret

“Where do the words come from? The same mysterious place, I suspect, where notes of music go. They precede ideas, and are inseparable from them. For myself, I bow my head, touch wood, and utter a small prayer that the flow of them never cease.” (Joseph Epstein)

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How long should your copy be?

Just long enough to say what you need to say. “Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.” — The Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr., E.B. White

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Do your customers wonder about you?

“The public should always be wondering how it is possible to give so much for the money.”(Henry Ford)

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Business jargon baffles and alienates

Needless jargon in the workplace baffles and alienates your employees, according to a new study. It even makes some employees think you’re trying to hide something. A survey of Scottish workers found that more than half were fed up with bosses using management jargon. Two-thirds preferred no jargon at all. Link. I often rant about the importance of clear, simple …

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D*lbert and obscenity

Dilbert creator Scott Adams has a blog, of course. I mean, who doesn’t? But unlike most blogs, his is both funny and thought-provoking. The other day Adams mused about the most obscene letter in the alphabet. He figures it must be the asterisk, “since it appears in almost every naughty word you see in print.” He calls it a loin …

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Toss the buzzwords into the buzzsaw

As a freelance copywriter for tech and corporate clients (and a former technical writer), I have found a LOT of resistance to clean, simple “shirtsleeve English”. Too many corporate types seem to fear that clear language and everyday words will somehow reduce the value of their ideas or offerings. Quite the contrary. Keep it simple, focused on your target audience, …

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