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  1. Angus wrote on

    I agree with all your examples. Many of these are things I would agree with 90% of the time, but one of our jobs as writers is to recognise the other 10%. There’s virtually nothing I’d ban outright.

    Incidentally, two of her examples aren’t verbs: “ballpark/estimate” are nouns (unless people really are using “ballpark” as a verb, which I guess they might be), and “regarding/about” are prepositions.

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Yeah, agree. Re the noun/preposition thing, yeah, I use “ballpark” as a verb sometimes. But not “regarding”. I missed that entirely! :-P

  2. Angus wrote on

    “Let me ballpark that for you”? Interesting! And who am I to judge?

    Nice work on the new website by the way!

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Yeah, I don’t know when I started using that one. I don’t use it very often, either way.

      And thanks, re the site. :-)

  3. Desolie wrote on

    Hey there Glenn
    I’m very much an advocate of using simpler words. But it all depends upon the readership. If readers will understand, or if the subtlety of the word is important, we must use the most appropriate word.
    Like so much in writing, the ‘rules’ don’t always apply – apart from the ‘thou shalt know thy audience’ rule.
    Happy writing
    Desolie

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Yeah, it all comes down to the audience, eh Desolie? :-)

    2. Camilla Peffer wrote on

      This x 100!
      I think the KISS rule risks alienating your target audience. By keeping things simple (read – safe and easily digestible), copy becomes far too bland and lacks any persuasive nuance. Long tail and all that jazz.

      1. Glenn Murray wrote on

        Exactly. Rules always lead to vanilla.

  4. richard pelletier wrote on

    Well, this is fun. As often as I try to leverage my not so world class education in an effort to optimize the operational endeavors I am utilizing with my market leading customers, I often just interface with myself endlessly. Or I stare into space and ideate.
    Glen- do you really want to defend utilize, and optimize and god almighty, operationalize? I am with Laura all the way. I don’t think this has anything to do with dumbing down at all. I respectfully argue that this is about clearing business language of tired, overused and dreadful “communication solutions” that have come to mean nothing. And so don’t connect people to one another. The closer business language tracks to real human speech, the more emotional it can be, and the more genuine. Thanks for posting this Glenn.

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Hi Richard. Thanks for your comment. I wasn’t defending “operationalize” but, yes, I was defending “utilize” and “optimize” (in some cases).

      Did you read my justification above? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on them…

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