So just how does a 21st century human sound?

23 July 2009

     Last week one of the tips I gave on how to write concisely was to ‘use the words an everyday 21st century human normally uses’ – which basically means that we should write like we speak – not how our great-grandparents spoke.

     One of our readers asked specifically how to do that.  So I’d like to elaborate a bit more by telling you about a great model.

     For some time I’ve been reading Copyblogger – a well-known blog with loads of great ideas for writing marketing materials.

     One of the contributing writers at Copyblogger is a young man who doesn’t write. 

     ‘Huh?’ you may ask.  ‘How can a writer not write?’

     Well – it’s impossible for Jon Morrow to type on a keyboard or pick up a pen and scratch out words on paper.  At a very young age, Jon fell victim to a degenerative disease that resulted in his arms and legs being paralysed. 

     Not one to let physical disability stop him, he has started and run several very successful businesses.  And recently he co-founded an on online business that involves a lot of teaching and writing.

     Jon ‘writes’ with the assistance of a computer dictation program that transfers his spoken words to the page.  It requires some correcting and editing, of course.  But hey – all written text needs that!

     Jon Morrow is the best model I know of how to write the way you speak, because all of his ‘writing’ is a direct transfer of speech to written text.  So it sounds very natural and personal – just like he’d speak to you directly.

     I’ve not tried using dictation software yet.  But I do read out loud what I’ve written – just to hear how it sounds.  To make sure that my voice is getting through – my 21st century voice, that is.  (I’m not old enough to be a great-grandmother yet!)

     For an example of Jon Morrow’s writing, go here

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