The Quickest Way to Great Business Writing

April 9th 2015       Sally Ormond      


bin your thesaurus


Your company needs a lot of marketing.

I’m not just talking about your website, there’s also:

  • Newsletters
  • Case studies
  • Emails
  • Brochures
  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • Press releases
  • Reports
  • White papers
  • Manuals
  • eBooks
  • Profiles
  • Social media updates
  • Leaflets

OK, that’s starting to get boring, but you get the picture.

Regardless of the form it takes, your writing has to be brilliant.

It must engage, inspire, interest, be relevant, persuade etc.

You get the picture.

At the outset I promised to tell you the quickest way to great marketing writing.

Are you ready for it?

Can you handle it?

OK, if you’re sure.

Here goes.

Ditch your thesaurus.

Yes, it’s as simple as that.

Where most companies…no strike that, where most writers go wrong is that they reach for the thesaurus.

For some inexplicable reason they (yes, I am actually talking about you) believe that to sound plausible and to get their ideas across, they have to abandon good old fashioned plain English for incomprehensible marketing/management speak.

Is there any real proof of a correlation between the number of syllables in a word and the writer’s intelligence?


It doesn’t make you sound intelligent. If anything it has the opposite effect.

Stop substituting perfectly good simple words for ridiculously pompous drivel.

Why use “cognisant” when “aware” does a better job?

Why can’t things be equal instead of “commensurate”?

People have skills not “proficiencies”.

I use my skills; I don’t “leverage” them.

If you want to improve your marketing and business writing and engage with your readers, do everyone a favour and ditch your thesaurus.


Author – Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd


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