Friday, 14 September 2012

Words written to deliver message A to audience W, can not be tampered with to convey B to a bunch of Zeds.

I’m excited to have finally made time to join Stephen Fry’s forum @

This is a man who knows the value of words and the power of literal dexterity by which they can be shaped and delivered. Quality doesn’t have to be ‘posh’ unless one is writing for ‘the posh’ whose eyes and ears understand no less.

When writing for an audience, the writer wants that group of people to understand the message being delivered. It should pass via the eyes and literally heard, orally, as it passes to the brain. Hence the importance of writing in a style that sings as if your market is sitting before you listening to you speak.

Words and language evolved as an oral tool – a vehicle to communicate from mouth to the brain via the listener’s ear. Vocabulary gives language depth. Intonation gives it life.

So why shouldn’t the written word have life?  Well, it most certainly should.

Putting personality and intonation down on paper or up on the screen, in a blog, on a tweet needs a good understanding of what you need to say and who you want to say it to.

Then, you can play with the tools available to you – 26 letters and a bag full of syntax.

Don’t waste words – superfluity is a communications crime.

But, equally don’t compromise the message.

So how do we square these two points. The answer is easier these days than it once was. We have different communications platforms each with sensible and accessible messaging criteria, from 140 characters in a tweet; through blogging; on to a web site; via an e-mail; plus an attachment – and that‘s just the electronic media.

Hanging the style and expression to fit the audience is an art form on the one hand and an essential tool to apply to business / sales communication on the other.

Once written, it is very difficult to use one style of message to convey your meaning to a different audience.

But you don’t have to.

Identify your audiences; understand their language; consider what they might want to hear to motivate them; write the core message to that language and medium / platform – and Bob will once again be your proverbial…

In a blog / article called Take me to your Lieder in which Stephen Fry was writing (at some length) about the sad death of Dietrich Fischer Dieskau (a truly great Lieder tenor), he wrote of a task given him to try to translate Schikaneder’s original Magic Flute libretto from German into English.

He writes: “That experience, taking out the words that Mozart had set to music and trying to replace them with English equivalents, taught me one thing that I am anxious to share with an expectant world. Mozart knew what he was doing. Ho, yes. The man, as Control or Smiley might say, was Good, George. Damned good. He knew his tradecraft.

Words written to deliver A to audience W can not be tampered with to convey B to a bunch of Zeds.

 Life is not all about blogging (though ther are a great CRM vehicle) but I would like to share some of the other blogsites currently written by ASPIRUS Words:

Plain English, plain speaking, pure correspondence. Words that work.
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