Monday, March 23, 2009

Keeping it short and simple and jargon free

I recently posted a reply on the must-read Proposal Guys blog, which is of course about proposal writing.

The original post was providing a great example of unreadable jargon used in a real proposal. My reply got me thinking about short meaningful messages, where there is no room to waster your words:

There was a recent programme on Radio 4 on the development of language, particularly in relation to “texting”.

There were two things that I found interesting. Firstly was the rise
in 160 poetry where poems are created in 160 characters or less. Second
was the rise in Japan of entire stories that can be sent in short text

So what has this got to do with anything? Well, if you only have 160
characters to convey a message or a story it makes you think about your
words very carefully. Everyone of them has to matter - you certainly
don’t end up with a 94 word sentence.

The page should be considered expensive real estate where words are valued and thought given to each one.

I wonder what a “160 proposal” would look like, though I dnt cr fr th spllng 2 mch.

Oh, and if you are interested to see what a 160 poem reads like then
your may be interested to know that in 2002 Emma Passmore won £1,500
with this:

I left my pictur on th ground wher u walk

so that somday if th sun was jst right

& th rain didnt wash me awa

u might c me out of th corner of yr i & pic me up

Another example of this texting as a message of course, is Twitter, so I've started twittering. I'm going to use this as a way of letting people know what's new on the Learn to Write Proposals site, but also to pass on some short proposal tips.

Follow Learn to Write Proposals on Twitter