Publication date: October 25, 2011 | print version
We receive press releases every day, and are very attentive to the texts in order to provide editors with the kind information they are used to getting. Yet, I must say that we should correct press releases and usually try to give useful information about how to write better, in the hope that our tips and articles will help improve your English writing skills, consequently leading to greater software sales.
We’ve already written an article on the rules that are generally recommended while writing the text of a press release, but now I want to draw your attention to the concepts of writing clearly and understandably in the English language.
Write in a more understandable way and choose simpler words to express the main idea. Use a simpler word whenever you can. Replacing complex words with simpler words wherever possible lets your readers concentrate on your ideas and information.
Your press release should be easy for the average person to understand, without having to pull out the dictionary. Don't add unnecessary complexity, and don't assume that the reader knows industry jargon or slang. Keep it simple.
The use of unfamiliar or complex terms interferes with comprehension and slows readers down. Readers may even skip terms they don’t understand, hoping to find their meanings within the context of the rest of the sentence.
Use shorter, simpler words as the basis of your writing and save longer or complex words for when they are essential. As the writer, you control how specific your information is. The further you move away from the use of abstract words, and towards specific ones, the clearer and more precise your message becomes.
Use everyday words and phrases. This is important. Use the language of everyday speech, for example, the terms: “so, do, get, make, and build”, rather than “develop, obtain, maximize, and construct.”
Here is a list of some other complex terms and their simpler alternatives:
Advantageous — helpful
Accompany – go with
Accurate - correct, exact, right
Additional – more
Approximate - about
Commence — begin, start
Consolidate — combine
Deleterious — harmful
Demonstrate - prove, show
Determine - decide, figure, find
Endeavor — try
Erroneous — wrong
Expeditious — fast
Elect - choose, pick
Frequently – often
Facilitate — ease, help
Inception — start
Implement — carry out
Immediately - at once
Leverage — use
Maintain - keep, support
Optimize — perfect
Prescribed — required
Proficiencies — skills
Promulgate — issue or publish
Proximity — near
Regarding — about
Relocate – move
Remain - stay
Purchase - buy
Remuneration — reward, payment
Subsequently — after or later
Regardless of whether English is your first or second language, these guidelines can help enhance the structure, flow and clarity of your writing, thus improving your sales in Western and American software markets.
«I try to use simpler words in my own writing, doing so is not always possible. Sometimes I need a complex word to communicate a more precise meaning. Other times, complex words cannot be avoided due to the subject matter. As a general rule, I use simpler words as the basis of my writing and save the more complex words for when they’re absolutely necessary—or if I’m trying to impress another editor.»
Laura Hale Brockway is the author of the grammar/usage/random thoughts blog, impertinentremarks.com
«From my experience, people will often use the more complex word to impress or because they operate in a work culture where these words are commonly used. As a former journalist who is now a media adviser I do not like them when communicating to a mass audience as they exclude audience and send an implicit message that the author is incapable of or unwilling to speak in plain English.»