Write in Language You Can See
- On June 22, 2021
If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.
Albert Einstein, the physicist who developed the theory of relativity, said that. The Nobel prizewinner had a point. It’s easier to grasp something if you can visualize it, which is why it’s important to write in language you can see. Visual images trigger emotions and spark action. Even something as simple as Check out these suggestions for beating the blues is more vivid and engaging—and apt to spur someone to act—than Check out these mental health benefits.
Business buzzwords like drive and deliver often fail to produce accurate visual images because they are so overused, and used to mean so many different things. Years ago, when the embattled CEO of Blackberry told shareholders, “We’re driving night and day to deliver improvements,” some people took that to mean that truck drivers were traversing the country delivering better devices to unhappy customers. Nope, they were just working 24 hours a day to improve their product, which is what the CEO should have said.
In 2013, when Ruth Bader Ginsberg observed the Defense of Marriage Act created two kinds of marriage, “the full marriage, and then this sort of skim milk marriage,” you knew what she meant. Immediately.