What is it…that is… up in the house…yo!
Note Taking Nerd Numba 2 here with a challenge for you.
Read these paragraphs and see if you can figure out what they have in common.
In the United States, anyone can be president. That’s the problem.
That silver medal at the Olympics, that’s something isn’t it? You get gold, you’ve won. You get bronze, “Well, at least I got something.” But silver is basically saying, “Of everyone that lost, you were the best. No one lost ahead of you. You are the very best loser.”
“If I ever had twins, I’d use one for parts.”
So, what’s similar about each of these?
Besides being funny, they all…
Communicate one thought.
None of them ramble on.
They have no unnecessary words in them.
Every sentence is tidy and compact.
They all use simple language.
All the punctuation helps the sentences flows.
Short one word or one sentence paragraphs give your readers eyeballs a rest.
This is part of what makes reading fiction so inviting. Lots and lots of white space.
Will Strunk, author of “The Elements of Style” had deep sympathy for the reader.
“The reader is in serious trouble most of the time, floundering in a swamp, and that it was the duty of anyone attempting to write English to drain this swamp quickly and get the reader up on dry ground, or at least to throw a rope.”
“The Elements of Style” is a book that deserves to be studied by anyone attempting to influence with their writing.
If you don’t, you might end up victimizing your family, customers and clients by writing paragraphs like the one below.
Here is an example of how not to write a paragraph. This is exactly how it looks on website I pulled it from…
NxLabs Inc. is proud to introduce the biggest breakthrough in bodybuilding history – ANAVOL. It is the most advanced and effective creatine product on the market – better than creatine ester and all other creatine products! The combination of Creatine Alpha-Ketoglutarate and Glutamine Alpha-Ketoglutarate work synergistically to pull in more water than ever before, creating a phenomenal anabolic environment for muscle growth! ANAVOL also contains Citrulline-Malate which helps regenerate ATP faster than previously thought possible. Together, the combination of Creatine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, Glutamine Alpha-Ketoglutarate and Citrulline-Malate is phenomenal! When combined with regular exercise and proper nutrition, ANAVOL delivers unprecedented gains in muscle size and strength! To maximize ANAVOL’s effects, NxLabs Inc. has developed XTEND24, an advanced time released technology that delivers a steady supply of ANAVOL all day long! Best of all, ANAVOL uses easy to swallow capsules instead of large caplets. ANAVOL is manufactured in our state of the art facility to ensure the highest quality, purity and potency.
Whewww! I hope you can handle all the excitement coursing through your system after all 5 of those exclamation marks.
Did you power through every word?
I’m an athlete looking for an edge in my training and I know nothing about this product and guess what?
The structure of this paragraph is making it harder than it should to get money out my wallet into theirs.
The quality of the copy is a whole other subject.
Please…please…please don’t do this to your readers.
Remember, conscise sentences composed of one thought.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your paragraphs to at most 4 sentences.
Break them up if they’re longer so you relieve your readers eyes and make your copy inviting.
Do yourself a favor and go get a copy of “The Elements Of Style” authored by Will Strunk and E.B. White.
This book gives you all the basic rules of writing silky smooth in 122 tight, easy to read pages (including pictures at least every 5 or so pages, in my version).
Compressed knowledge. Just like your Note Taking Nerd reports.
Professional comics axe every word that kills the flow of their sentences. They can’t afford to flubber on stage.
Neither can you when trying to influence people with your writing.
I’ll talk to you again soon.
Wishing you speedy and spectacular success,
Note Taking Nerd Numba 2