'Championship Writing' -- Short words

'Championship Writing' -- Short words
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For this week's look at "Championship Writing," consider Chapter 6, "Short words."

Author Paula LaRocque approves of George Orwell's words, "Fuzzy writing always means fuzzy thinking."

If thinking isn't a problem, LaRocque says, "Then all we must do is focus on form. How shall we deliver the result of our careful thought?"

She favors using one-syllable words often. Putting a message into simple words "yields both precision and warmth."

For example, she favors "might cut a deal" over "might settle the case before it goes to trial."

Are you giving me a report? I might yawn at you. But tell me a story, and you'll have my attention.

I think of that argument, and this chapter, when I'm reading the op-ed pages or looking for bloggers I enjoy reading.

I might not agree with a writer's politics, but I'll read his work just for the great ways he expresses his views.

Fellow bloggers, I might not know your topic well, but if you tell good stories about it, I'll keep reading them.

"Memorable language is usually simplified language," writes LaRocque.

I admit it -- I love that "usually."

For the next post, "Fadspeak," come on back next Monday -- or subscribe on the button above.

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  • Whereas, therein is the conundrum proffered by legal writing. There was a "plain language movement," but subsequent [or subsequently] thereto, was found to have perished. As may have be foreshadowed by a previous missive of your interlocutor, some whereof was replaced by hermaphroditic composition, such as "On April 12, he or she wrote to his or her attorney, saying ..."

    Clear enough? I think not, but I have seen some of this, including fairly recently.

  • Clear enough? What? It's what I'm here to resist!

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Of course. But I left out one term that has nothing to do with its length. It isn't "but" but [I used it again] "Yet,".

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