Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thoughtful writing

We have previously discussed examples of thoughtless writing; for example, here and here. Today I present a delightful example of thoughtful writing. It is the web site of Nashoba Valley Winery, which also runs a restaurant (pictured).

On the restaurant page of the web site, these two lines caught my eye:

Please note that reservations are strongly recommended.
Click Here for our definition of Strongly Recommended.

It is worth clicking through and reading that definition.

Another thing that caught my eye was the FAQ, which includes a detailed Dog Policy. The dog policy is really worth a read.

Analysis: The writer’s diction and punctuation are a little rough around the edges, but it is obvious that he wanted to communicate clearly. The policies use clear phrases such as “you must take responsibility” and “have any dog removed without cause at any time.” The writer doesn’t slop around with euphemisms or evasions.

Very few companies do a good job of defining their terms. This company does. Click through and take a look. The site is full of good examples of clear, deep communication.

The Takeaway: Whenever you are writing for publication, be thoughtful. Don’t just slap together a bunch of jargon and cliches and send it out. Instead, quietly and deliberately ask yourself what it is that you really want to convey. Think of examples. Get your thoughts clear and your words will be clear; it will help you produce a good first draft. Then conscientiously work through another draft or two and you should have something you can publish and be proud of.

Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in the winery; I don’t even like wine particularly. Also see my general disclaimer.

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