Thursday, October 9, 2014

Readers judge you by your diction, in order to save time

Recently, as I was researching Microsoft’s OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive), I saw a third-party (i.e., not from Microsoft) tutorial titled
“SkyDrive at the Core of the Windows 8.1 Experience – What Does it Mean?” (Source)
The writer had used a cliché (at the core), a massively overused cliché (experience), and a vague pronoun (it). Three clarity violations in 13 words; this is childish diction. I clicked elsewhere.

The Takeaway: Remember, intelligent readers judge you by your diction. They do it to avoid wasting time. If they notice that your title or introduction contains bad diction, they (correctly or incorrectly) conclude that the rest of your piece will be long-winded, silly and confusing. Therefore they conclude that you are not a credible source of information and they stop reading right there. So give yourself a chance; build your credibility by using good diction, especially in your title and introduction.

See disclaimer.

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