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Giving power to words

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1 Author(s)
Philip W. Swain ; Power magazine from 1934 to 1954

Word power is often nullified by a writer's attempt to be literary. In technical writing the basic approach should be to suit the language to the purpose and audience of the message; be simple, direct, and concise. Rules for doing so indicate shorter is better — short words, sentences, paragraphs, and articles rather than long ones. Choose direct statements over indirect and active mood over passive; choose Anglo-Saxon words over Latin derivatives. Such rules do not guarantee “rightness” or ideal communication but are likely to make the writer right more often than wrong. Knowing such rules, one can break them wisely.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  (Volume:PC-23 ,  Issue: 3 )