Office-speak and clichés are so well established, it’s easy to play buzzword bingo in management meetings. It’s less difficult to spot in writing, but a very easy habit to fall into.
Working in a copywriting agency and dealing with words from a variety of sources every day means you soon spot emerging (or fully emerged) trends in vocabulary and word use.
What is it with the word 'access' all of a sudden? You can't move these days without people 'accessing' education, 'accessing' information on the web, 'accessing' resources in the library, or 'accessing' lists of annoying words.
They say three's company (don't they? It might be two, but for our sakes, let's say three), and when it comes to fluid, high impact writing, three is certainly the magic number. The rule of three is simple. It says that when you're describing something - the features of a new service or the benefits of a new product - a list of three characteristics is always the most effective.
Good writing is all about clarity - getting your message across clearly and concisely. But in the wrong hands, words can often cloud, rather than clarify, the intended message.
One of the key purposes of business writing is to write in a way that reinforces your brand. It's also one of the main areas where much business writing often fails. If your brand is about dynamism, energy and modern thinking, your writing needs to support that. So that means using appropriate language, tone and structure.
Isn't the web great? There are all sorts of great writing tips out there. I came across this excellent - and funny - article about writing for the web. It cocks a bit of a snoop at some of the web-writing theories about how people read online.
Some of the most effective tools for clearer business writing are so obvious we tend to overlook them. Take bullet points, the unsung heroes of the print world.