Four Terrific Tactics for Improving Comprehension, Part 4

This series of posts will describe four terrific tactics that you can use to improve comprehension.

The four tactics are:

  1. Make “who did what” clear.
  2. Edit for clarity.
  3. Eschew obfuscation!
  4. Use specific words.

This week, I will talk about Tactic #4.

  1. Use specific words.

Many communication problems occur because words that express a general thought do not always trigger the same picture in the reader’s mind as they did in the writer’s mind. Vague words get vague results.

Tie down the meaning of the following by substituting precise words or phrases:

Example: couple: two.

“Couple” is vague, and doesn’t specify exactly how many you want. Quantifying the amount with “two” will get you the result you want.

a. ASAP:

b. vegetable:

c. document:

Post your answers in the comments section if you’d like to, and this week, use simple, comfortable words in your writing!

Gail Tycer is a strategic business communication authority: professional speaker; writer, author, editor; coach, consultant, facilitator, and strategist. More free business writing tips from Gail Tycer are available here, and information about Gail’s Business Writing workshops is available here.

© 2013 Gail Tycer •


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