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View Diary: "Twelve Traps to Avoid" By George Lakoff and the Rockridge Institute (197 comments)

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  •  Interesting...That's the heart of my (0+ / 0-)

    lessons on strong writing. Use strong verbs. Avoid relying on adjectives.  Search out and destroy all sentences written in the passive voice. There is a little hypbole in that last sentence, but not much.

    •  Cheap writing trick: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Use verbs your body can physically do. "Cut," "run," "slam," "climb" or whatever. These tend to be Anglo-Saxon verbs, which sound stronger to the English-speaking ear.

      It's not an absolute law, and you can't carry it to the point of absurdity, but it's a good rule of thumb.

    •  Avoid double negatives. (0+ / 0-)

      I see this more from academics, but:

      Don't say "I don't oppose the bill"
      Say "I support the bill" or "I don't care about the bill"

      Don't say "We must not allow Bush to ignore the law."
      Say "We must force Bush to follow the law."

      Don't say "I am not a crook"
      Say "I am honest"

      Don't say "Bush won't reject sleep deprivation for prisoners"
      Say "Bush supports depriving prisoners of sleep to torture them"

      This applies only if you're trying to make an emotional impact.  If you're trying to avoid making any emotional impact, by all means use double negatives -- but politicians should be trying to make an emotional impact.

      -5.63, -8.10 | Libertarian Liberal

      by neroden on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:26:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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