21% of U.S. adults have trouble using a street map What reading grade level should you hit on the Flesch-Kincaid, Gunning Fog or other readability indexes? If you're writing for a broad audience, you might consider starting with eighth on the Flesch-Kincaid test. Ratchet up or down from there depending on your audience members' sophistication. Why so low? In 1993, the … [Read more...] about Can you read me now?
Archives for July 2011
5 ways to write for Google and people When The Washington Post ran an article about Conan O'Brien's refusal to accept a later time slot on NBC, the original, print headline said: "Better never than late" The Web version: "Conan O'Brien won't give up 'Tonight Show' time slot to make room for Jay Leno" That's what happens when writers optimize headlines for Google. We move … [Read more...] about Can Web heads be witty and wise?
Observational stories put readers in the scene For his latest book, Uncommon Carriers, John McPhee: Rode from Atlanta to Tacoma alongside Don Ainsworth, owner and operator of a 65-foot, 18-wheel chemical tanker carrying hazmats Attended ship-handling school on a pond in the foothills of the French Alps, where skippers of the largest ocean ships refine their … [Read more...] about Take me there
'Pet waste removal service' scoops up worst buzzword "Solution," according to the Gable Group’s late, great Jargonator, is one of the most overused buzzwords of the day: "Companies used to sell products, now they sell solutions. Dog food bowls are pet-feeding solutions, chairs are sitting solutions, cars are transportation solutions.” Now you can add to that list Shadoobies, … [Read more...] about ‘Solution’ strikes again
Get a report card on your communications Too often, the job of producing communications leaves little time for considering what you’re doing well and what opportunities you have for improvement. Our communication report card can help. Send us a sample of your website, publication or writing, and we’ll send you a report card on its strengths and weaknesses, plus more than … [Read more...] about Make the grade