Archive | Writing Advice

What’s a feature, and what’s a benefit?

Are there certain things that people don’t know but should, and that drives you to distraction? For me, one of the biggest is the difference between features and benefits. While that distinction has been talked about for years, and successful communications and sales professionals invariably advocate for emphasizing benefits over features, there continues to be a […]

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Don’t be inappropriate

Far too many people spatter what they write with words that don’t really need to be there. One of the best examples is the word “appropriate.” People have a tendency to work it into sentences to make them sound more important, even though that extra word really doesn’t add any value. A typical example? “Once […]

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Quotation marks imply lies

We’d have a tough time surviving without quotation marks. As a famous writer once described, “Quotation marks allow us to identify what someone actually says, as opposed to simple statements being made by the writer.” Okay, I just made that quote up, but it illustrates one of the main reasons people use quotation marks. The […]

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Walla and no further adieu

Most people who insert foreign-language phrases and expressions into their materials do so because it makes them appear to be intelligent and sophisticated, n’est-ce pas? That is, it does unless they misspell the phrase or don’t really understand what it means. A particularly common error involves using the marvelous French word “voilà” (“behold” or “there […]

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