Short Words

July 26th, 2016 in Content Marketing 2 minute read

Short words are good. In fact, they are just as good as the long ones.

Why are they good? They keep you on track. They cut to the point.

They are the ones that you love and trust the most. Like sun, mum, home, and fun, we seem to have known them from birth. You know what they mean, and we can all use them. It’s fair to say that they are broad in their reach.

Short words are sharp. When you write, short words let you dart from one point to the next. You can choose to crack a smile, close a sale, or sting like a bee.

Short words can even make big things clear. Like night and day, love and hate, or war and peace. You would be a fool to swap a short word for a long word where the needs are the same.

You should still use a long word if it says what you want, as long as you know that big words add fat that can get in the way.

Ask Nike.

JUST DO IT

Or VW.

Think Small

Ads love short words, as they have a grace and charm that long words lack.

Why make life hard for those who want to hear what you have to say?

Just come right out and say it.


The eagle-eyed among you might have noticed I’ve only used words with one syllable up to this point.

That’s to demonstrate that you can say exactly what you want to say, without waffling or trying to sound clever.

“Reliance on long words, which are often more abstract than common short ones, can be a sign that you have not worked out exactly what you want to say. If you have distilled your thinking to its essence, you will probably be able to express it in simple words”

– Roman and Raphaelson, Writing That Works

People don’t read as much as they used to. We like short form big hits of information. If you’re a brand, this makes life extremely difficult as we are all competing for the same space.

As we’re progressing more and more into this technological bubble, it’s never been more important to stamp out the nonsense and tell your message in its purest form.

If 10 people are all shouting in the same room, you can guarantee that the person with the shortest, most concise message will be heard.

I’ll leave you with this rather apt Chinese teaching.

“If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant. If what is said is not what is meant, then what ought to be done, remains undone”

– Confucius

Worried about your message?

Trying to decide what you want to say?

Thinking about your choice of words?

Let’s talk about it.

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