Articles about writing, editing and improving content

  • The beauty of short sentences (and how to use them)

    By Dan Kaufman on January 23, 2016

    Short sentences are easy to read.

    They grab our attention, increase the reading pace, and make it more likely that we’ll move from one sentence to the next.

    They’re also easier to understand.

    Research by the American Press Institute (API), for example, found that …

  • Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little – book review

    By Dan Kaufman on September 12, 2015

    If you need to say something in just a few words – which is what happens when you coin a company name, slogan or domain name – it’s a mistake to try and cram as much literal meaning as possible into the message.

    According to Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little by Christopher Johnson, “a message isn’t a treasure chest full of meaning. It’s more like a key that opens doors.” …

  • The Elements of Eloquence – book review

    By Dan Kaufman on August 1, 2015

    You’ll never read poetry, watch Shakespeare or listen to a Katy Perry song in quite the same way again after reading Mark Forsyth’s The Elements of Eloquence.

    This irreverent and engaging book explains the ancient figures of rhetoric, ranging from the better known ones such as alliteration right through to obscure sounding techniques such as anadiplosis and hendiadys …

  • In a Word – book review

    By Dan Kaufman on July 23, 2015

    There are so many wondrous words in the English language. Words that fill your mouth and exercise your tongue, such as:

    – marmoreal (an adjective meaning like marble, cold, white, smooth)
    – verklempt (Yiddish for overcome with emotion)
    – cacography (bad spelling or handwriting).

    So how do you find the right one? …

  • Why long headlines work well online (and print headlines often don’t)

    By Dan Kaufman on July 15, 2015

    When Vincent Musetto (who wrote the infamous headline Headless Body in Topless Bar for the New York Post) passed away, Media Watch ran a segment on why headlines are changing online and asked for my opinion.

    The problem, however, is that Media Watch were only able to run a three second quote when the answer is far too long and complicated for that. So, in order that I can sleep at night by finally giving the full answer, here’s the main reason: …