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Style Chapter 1: Language
vandanagoyal wrote in visionindia2047
Clarity of thought will lead to clarity of language. You must be clear about what you want to say, what words to say it in, what image you will create to convey and if that image has the freshness to captivate the reader. Good examples and original analogies may help you get the reader's attention.

Your writing should have a clearly defined focus. It should be supported by specific information which should be connected and arranged well.

The words should be appropriate and language emphatic, concise and clear. Effort should not be to write longer or shorter words but the best words that describe your thoughts.

Your writing should have an honesty. A style put on to impress the reader always has the opposite effect.

Emphasise the important parts well.

Use active rather than passive voice.

Your writing should have both passion and control. Reader should feel that the writer has not written just for the sake of writing but because he actually feels about the subject.

Avoid long winded, compound sentences as they confuse the reader.

Avoid using legal words unnecessarily as they sound arrogant and pompous.

The writing should be edited ruthlessly. If key ideas appear more than once, decide where to keep them and delete or merge the rest of the text.

Hyperbole, cliches and archaic expressions make the writing stale, avoid them. Unnecessary words blunt the message and irrelevant long words just establish skills of linguistics not language.

As an example of what our style guide seeks, I refer to the following article recently published in the editorial section of HindustanTimes.com :
Enjoying the new year , By Manas Chakravarty,Consulting Editor, Mint

This 650 word piece of writing has everything that our style guide does not want. The article does not say anything that can not be said in less than 100 words. Content is poor and the author has the arrogance to presume that the common place things he did or saw have any interest for the reader.

It flaunts nearly every rule of good writing that I have mentioned in this chapter. The whole article is full of big words which seem to have been substituted for the more familiar ones, to make the writing appear more intellectual. The writing does not have clarity, purpose or relevance. Sentences are long and compounded. The author has no feeling for the subject and hence no conviction.

The article would not even have been worth analysing if it were not on the editorial page of HindustanTimes.com and written by an editor of a business newspaper.

©2008 VisionIndia2047


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