Keeping your language clean

Brighton is covered in rubbish. The dustmen are on strike, the bins are overflowing; torn open by seagulls and other vermin. And people have stopped caring.

There’s dog mess, fly-tipping, and just this morning two people chucked a whole bed atop what’s now a landfill site on my once-lovely road. Why care when the whole city’s a dump? It’s as if the broken windows theory has been brought to life. Bad behaviour is contagious.

Bad writing is also contagious. When companies have a culture of bad writing (formal emails, long-winded PowerPoints, jargon-infused customer letters, internal newsletters no one reads), the chances are employees will do little to change it.

The linguistic tipping point will happen when their customers start going elsewhere; to companies who speak like humans, who excite and empower their employees, who tell their story well, who do things differently.

So how do you avoid the linguistic apocalypse? By using the right words, of course. (And that’s where we come in.)

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