Here’s a quick quiz for you to complete:

  • How many words should you use when writing a letter, an email, or text message?
  • Which words should you use?

Answer: that depends on your reader.

According to Hugh Mackay:

Language keeps us apart from each other at least as efficiently as it keeps us together.

Which means your choice of words can either alienate or engage your reader.

For example, some readers may appreciate messages that are concise and succinct while other readers may prefer language that is rich with story-telling, metaphors, similes and other figures of speech.

So the next time you want to successfully communicate with someone, ask yourself:

  • How do I best engage with this person?
  • Which words do they use?
  • Do they prefer messages that are short and sweet (or not)?

In other words: to know your reader is to know which words to use.

Until next time, Jo


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