Tips for Writing With a Personal Stye

Written by Leslie Brown

I read something the other day that went like this: “Being human is the new black.” I think it’s true. Today, writing with a more personal style is almost expected.

This style is characteristic of the human-like voice of Siri, the digital personal assistant that comes with the iPhone. In an almost friendly way, she tries to understand questions and then proposes what you hope will be a helpful answer. Before responding, the voice says something reassuring like “Let me check on that” or “Let me think about that.” If the data isn’t available, she simply says, “I can’t answer that.”

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Parallelism Gives Your Writing a Left Edge

Originally written by Marcia Riefer Johnston, TechWhirl

Parallelism. The word itself sports a pair of rails, conjuring up images of things perfectly aligned. Rows of corn. Ribs of cornfieldcorduroy. Rings of latitude. When you write and speak, you align words. You do this naturally. You dash off to the store saying, “I’m going to get pistachios, tuna, and champagne.” You don’t think, I’m aligning a series of nouns. The nouns line themselves up. Words seek their own kind, says Sheridan Baker, “noun to noun, adjective to adjective, infinitive to infinitive” (The Practical Stylist, 1998). If only words sought their own kind with more gusto. It surprises me how often I come across near misses. For example, the author bio on the back of a book about using voicemail effectively includes this clunker:

“Sheldon has worked for corporations, associations, and in leadership roles for nonprofit organizations.”

If Sheldon [false name] had channeled his inner shopper while writing, for a split Continue reading

Web vs. Print: 5 Key Writing Differences

web-v-printWritten by Tim Morral

The Internet has revolutionized the way we consume content and key messages. But many executives and internal copy producers still haven’t concluded that the Internet has also changed the way we create content. Styles of writing that have worked in the print arena don’t automatically translate into online success and in fact, may be completely inappropriate for web audiences.

Whether you’re writing a contributed article for an online journal or posting to the company blog, there are at least five key differences that need to be incorporated into the content you create for online audiences.

  1. Length. Forget about a three-sentence minimum for paragraphs. Web audiences prefer short, pithy blocks of text and tend to stay longer on web pages that feature concise, one or two sentence paragraphs.
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