When he wasn't busy painting masterpieces or inventing helicopters, all-round-Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci found was one of the leading thinkers of his day.
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.
We were doing one of our writing workshops in London earlier this month. One of the most illuminating exercises we do is headline appraisal. May sound dull, but it's actually good fun. We take a bunch of headlines from local, national and trade press, and discuss what makes some of them work and why some of them just leave us cold.
The business world is not renowned for the crispness of its copywriting, but there are some simple techniques we can learn to sharpen up both our own business writing and other people’s.