- He didn't steal your watch (err… who did, then?)
- He didn't steal your watch (ok, ok,… calm down, I believe you!)
- He didn't steal your watch (did he hide it, or what?)
- He didn't steal your watch (so who did he rob, then?)
- He didn't steal your watch (oh, no… what did he nick, then?)
It’s only words; and words are all I have
26-May-2017 Matthew Pattinson 0 comments
Those prolific singer/songwriters, The Bee Gees sang the immortal lines: ‘…It’s only words; and words are all I have….’ Wow. Those guys sure knew how to write.
They hit the nail right on the proverbial head when they hammered home that message back in the seventies. Chest hair, flares and medallions may have had their day but ‘words’ are as powerful now as they ever were. They have to be the right words, of course.
Back in the day if you got it wrong it wasn't good. Say the wrong thing and word may have got around. Write the wrong thing and your letter/article might have got passed around. Not good. But at least the damage was limited. Make those same mistakes now and it’s a whole new ball game. With email, the web and social media, the whole world and its dog could potentially know…
It’s not what you say …
It’s definitely the way that you say it. In a business meeting or phone call it’s second nature to tailor your voice to get the message across in the way that you want. If you’re misunderstood, you have the chance to put things right, there and then.
It’s different with writing. We all know that punctuation and spelling are crucial - but what about that all-important tone of voice? You know what you mean, but does your client? Take a look at the following statement:
He didn't steal your watch
Yes, ok, he didn't steal the watch, right? Look again:
One short sentence: five different meanings. A few bold italics: a whole world of difference.
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