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Offline Aafaque Ehsen

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The ABC of Communication
« on: December 19, 2011, 12:30:07 PM »

 
 
 
Write to Communicate, Not to Impress





When I was in school, the rule was “Write to communicate, not to impress”.


The core thought is that the prime goal of communication is to alter perceptions.


Perceptions are the sum of all our ideas about something. It may be something in the immediate present. It may be something in the past. It can also be something in the near or distant future.


Three yardsticks help us to communicate effectively.


1.      Accuracy: State facts and give references. When making a claim, always provide proof.


2.      Brevity:  Be as brief as possible. This is insurance against nit picking critiques. The less you write the less chance you are giving critics to pick on you.


3.      Clarity: Be clear about what you want to say. “It was a sunny day” is a clear statement. “The weather was fine” leaves it to the reader’s idea of what fine weather is.


These three yardsticks, together, make the ABC of Communication.


Accuracy and Brevity contribute to Clarity. Using familiar words are a big help. So are short sentences, focused on a single idea.Two, even three or four short sentences are better than a single long sentence.









Most long sentences can be broken up into two or more short ones. Take the last three sentences of the third paragraph for example. When I began to write this piece it was single sentence, “
It may be something in the immediate present, it may be something in the past, and it can also be something in the near or distant future.[font='times new roman']” On review, I broke it up into three short ones. These short sentences make for easier understanding. The lesson we learn is; avoid conjunctions wherever you can.  [/font][/size]Place the subject and the verb as close as possible in your sentence.  Take these two examples.

1.“The engine springs into life with a muted roar when you turn on the ignition.”

2.“The engine, when you turn on the ignition, springs into life with a muted roar.”

The first sentence has the subject “engine” and the verb “springs” close together. It makes for clear understanding. In the second sentence, the subject and the verb are far apart. It is not as clear as the first one. Use strong verbs. Strong verbs convey action. In the above example, “springs” is a strong verb. It makes you “see” what happens when you turn on the ignition. In the first sentence of this paragraph, “use” is a strong verb. It tells you straight away what to do.

Avoid passive voice.  Passive voice does exactly that. It makes your writing passive, sleepy, and lazy. Active voice gives your writing action, immediacy. Let us see an example; “He hit the ball hard with the full face of the bat.” In the passive voice, it will read as “The ball was hit hard by him with the full face of the bat.” The difference is clear. If we keep just these few pointers in sight when we write, our communication will be effective.
 

EDIT: Added the Graphic

« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 05:33:32 PM by Samra »
Democracy is both a means to an end, and an end itself. If this sounds too political, advertising is also politics. Ask and ye shall be answered.

Offline Joyce Graziani - La Belle Dame sans Merci

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2011, 12:39:45 AM »







Super.




I hope you will continue posting in the same vein.





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Offline Tanvir Mazhar

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2011, 01:17:37 PM »



Very nice, helpful and interesting.



Offline McClean_Roger

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2012, 06:37:21 AM »




Solid advice here.






Correct treatment is a matter of diagnosis.
Often, it is also a matter of opportunity.


Hippocrates

Offline Not So Silly

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 11:43:07 AM »
^


Ditto



Offline Qatari

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2012, 06:57:16 AM »



I paricular liked that graphic included in the original post. Adds so much more.




Offline Ameena Asif

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 09:27:48 AM »









 
 
 
Write to Communicate, Not to Impress




2.      Brevity:  Be as brief as possible. This is insurance against nit picking critiques. The less you write the less chance you are giving critics to pick on you.






This is certainly true. The more you say, the more you open yourself to criticism, well-founded or ill founded.



Offline BeyondAllowance

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2012, 12:55:35 PM »



Short, simple and practicable advice.

Offline Peter Weston

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2012, 11:47:42 AM »


It always pays to revisit what we were taught in our early days.





Offline Qalib Naek

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2012, 07:44:18 AM »



Heavy stuff. Ain't clear ta me totally




Offline Nigel Pickard

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2012, 10:57:18 AM »



These principles enumerated in the opening post of this topic, once learnt, remain a lifelong asset.

Offline Parvati Malviya

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2012, 10:59:20 AM »



Seems the learning of these isn't a matter of concern to some. See Qalib's post.




Offline Overseer

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2012, 11:42:06 AM »





Heavy stuff. Ain't clear ta me totally








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Offline Josh

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2012, 07:42:54 PM »



Ah!    Would love to see some admonitions like this at plenty of places I drop by.   


____________


This short piece is of great value.   

Offline BeyondAllowance

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2012, 05:19:10 PM »
^


I endorse this. A lot of places on the Internet need cleaning up



Offline McClean_Roger

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2012, 11:00:55 AM »



Simple basic steps, I am often bemused how so many among us manage to ignore these



Correct treatment is a matter of diagnosis.
Often, it is also a matter of opportunity.


Hippocrates

Offline P Cairncross

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2012, 08:24:24 AM »
^


May be because everyone believes they already know all there is




Offline lily

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2012, 12:29:30 PM »

 

When I was in school, the rule was “Write to communicate, not to impress”.




In my school, unfortunately the rule was "Write to impress, not to communicate".


Offline K_Zarreen

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2012, 01:20:50 PM »



That Graphic is so helpful in understanding this topic.




Offline Mavreen Edwardes

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Re: The ABC of Communication
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2012, 01:25:51 PM »
^



That is why it is there, young lady.



By the way, where did you get this avatar, it is so cute . . .   :)