Trading words with Dad. I enjoyed Bob Ingrassia’s humorous article Words Journalists Use That People Never Say, which was posted to the Fast Horse blog. “With a bit of thought — a few seconds, say — writers can avoid most of these words and phrases,” writes Ingrassia.
Through his alter ego “Journo Dad,” he pokes fun at words like altercation, largely and blaze. Of course, his call to eliminate jargon applies to business writers, as well.
He includes a list of the pet-peeve words and easy substitutes he gives to his reporting class. If you’ve ever written “utilize” instead of use or “commenced a program,” you’ll want to take a look.
On the hunt. Pinterest, the visual bookmarking site, has experienced explosive growth and attracted the interest of top brands. Now one of the top-10 social networking and forum sites, Pinterest engages its users — the average daily site visit is more than 11 minutes.
But those concerned that the site functions like a shrine to consumerism may actually discover a decrease in the desire to buy after a visit. Writing in The Atlantic, Chris Tackett wonders if curating things we aspire to and pinning them virtually replaces much of our urge to shop — the inherited desire from our ancestors to hunt and forage.
“No doubt all of these tools are ripe for abuse and make it way too easy to waste precious time looking at stuff, but from an environmentalist’s perspective, if virtual consumerism means a real world reduction in wasteful consumption, it’s a welcome change for a dangerously changing world,” he says.
Get your editorial guidelines in order. For organizations that are creating more content but have not yet formalized editorial guidelines, Hubspot offers useful tips on how to develop them. By following the seven-step outline, you’ll have a tool that will keep your organization’s messages consistent and provide a coherent experience of your brand.
Although you may be using the AP Stylebook or the Chicago Manual of Style, your custom guide will address items that are unique to your business. For example, is it acceptable to abbreviate your company’s name or is it always spelled out? Is it spelled out on first reference and shortened thereafter? Editorial guidelines help to eliminate confusion for content contributors.
Now it’s your turn. Is there jargon particular to your business? What are your pet-peeve words? Add your thoughts in the comments section below.
Many thanks to Maurice for the beautiful bridge link photo via Flickr.
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