Learning to write well

Since I start­ed read­ing Eng­lish lan­guage style guides few years ago, I became crit­i­cal of the text I see every­where. 

There’s heaps of imper­fect writ­ing every­where; bill­boards, pub­lic toi­lets, pub­lic trans­port, and oh yeah, this blog. These are all great learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to prac­tice the rules I read in the books. 

I’m in the air­port shut­tle bus now. Luck­i­ly the bus is full and I have no seat to sit. I’m stand­ing few seats behind the dri­ver. This notice caught my atten­tion. 

I told myself that if I get a chance to rewrite this notice, I’d rephrase it like this:

For oth­ers com­fort, please don’t smoke, eat, or drink in this bus. Thank you. 

Few­er and direct words. 

My writ­ing is far from per­fect. I write a lot of loose text. But I believe that if I nev­er stop learn­ing from these every­day oppor­tu­ni­ties, be open to feed­back, and don’t become a snob, I can only get bet­ter even­tu­al­ly.


One response to “Learning to write well”

  1. Lubomir Mitana Avatar
    Lubomir Mitana

    I would say, that the pic­tures are some­how more illus­tra­tive and eas­i­er to caught atten­tion. To save words, I would take away the “there is no” com­plete­ly, and per­haps don’t men­tion the thanks. From my expe­ri­ence, nor­mal per­sons don’t require “thanks” for doing nor­mal things, and the oth­ers real­ly don’t under­stand “thanks”. Just my 2 cents.…

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