Words that work. This is the title of the insightful book written by Frank Luntz, dubbed hottest pollster in America by the Boston Globe. I'm only halfway so far, but I can tell you one thing: this is a keeper. And to those who take exception at the author's political work or frequent use of the pronoun "I" in his writing I say: get over it.
Many of the illustrations from the world of politics are both insightful and fascinating to an outsider. Some of the references to business I would take the time to look at differently in a conversation with the author. This is one of those books that will end up being completely marked up and noted on the margins. I am a firm believer that the most effective language clarifies, as Dr. Luntz put it. And yes, it does take a little more than just a couple of paragraphs to convince me and you.
If we look at rule one: use small words. I can see how the word "SALE" works just as well if not better than "Clearance Sale". There's less to read and I can get to the meaning more quickly. Why use a whole bunch of words in a title, for example, when one would suffice? Wouldn't you prefer "marketer" to "Director of Marketing Services"? Which one would better describe the work to you?
Maybe we feel the need to explain and provide more credibility. Let the persona do the heavy lifting, counsels Luntz. I agree. So next time you're looking for impact, find one of those beautiful single words and put them to good use.
It's not as easy as you think. Try it here in your comments to this post. Write up a slogan, something you've spent time crafting and honing, and let's look at it together.