Wednesday, February 9, 2005

How to improve writing (no. 5 in a series)

Words in a memo inviting faculty to a discussion of mentoring:

The facilitator of the focus group will be [Name].
Here are the sorts of nouns that writers turn to to dress up what they have to say.

Focus group comes to us from the worlds of market research and political analysis, where people are chosen to form a cross-section of a much larger population. If people are showing up without being selected, they might have a wonderful conversation, but they won't form a focus group.

Facilitator is a noun without clear meaning. To facilitate is to help bring about or make easier. So what might a facilitator in this context do? Send invitations? Encourage people to attend? Reserve the room? Arrange for refreshments?

How might things be said in clear, precise language?
[Name] will lead the discussion.
An active verb instead of to be; four words instead of eight; six syllables instead of thirteen. Over 50% off!

Link » Other How to improve writing posts, via Pinboard

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