Posts Tagged ‘newspapers’

Essential Books for Better Writing — News, PR, Corporate Communications and More

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom

Posted by Tom Gable

Our client was growing rapidly throughout the U.S. based on clearly differentiating the quality of its service against what was offered by the huge national organizations that dominated the industry. The plan worked. Its business grew and it was attracting new talent wherever it went based on its culture, vision and mission.

The CEO found one troublesome and unexpected consequence of the growth: a decline in the overall quality of communication. Research found it occurring in new areas and also in existing markets where staff was under the gun to deliver on increased demands for company products. The CEO believed that every communication — from short email to formal letters and proposals — needed to support the quality image of the brand. How to build firm-wide standards without having platoons of editors in every region?

The solution: the Gable PR team created a guide to better writing. The primer covered how to think about positioning, branding, research, understanding the audience, having a personality, preparing to write, basic rules for better writing, keys to editing and how to test messages before launch. It took almost one year to create the primer. The goal: keep it tight and bright. The result: 10 short chapters on 30 pages. The hard part: writing short.

For the best traditional resources to help your writing, browse through these fine works, which provided many big ideas for our little primer.

On Writing Well, William Zinsser. HarperCollins Publishers, 1990.

The Careful Writer, Theodore M. Bernstein, Free Press, 2005

The Classic Guide to Better Writing, Rudolf Flesch and A.H. Lass. HarperCollins Publishers, 1996.

Business Communication: Building Critical Skills, Kitty Locker. McGraw-Hill, 2010.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves – The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, Lynne Truss. Gotham Books, 2003.

Fresh Passion: Get A Brand Or Die A Generic, Michael D. Brown. Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2013.

 How to Write Short, Word Craft for Fast Times, Roy Peter Clark. Little Brown and Co., 2013.

It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences, June Casagrande. Ten Speed Press (Crown Publishing), New York, 2003.

The Associated Press Stylebook, Perseus Publishing, 2014.

The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well, Paula LaRocque. Grey and Guvner Press, 2003.

The Elements of Business Writing, Gary Blake and Robert W. Bly. Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991.

The Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. Allyn and Bacon, 2000 (earlier editions, 1959 and 1972 by McMillan Publishing Co.).

Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, Gerald M. Weinberg. Dorset House, 2005.

Boost the Brain: Take a Newspaper or Two to Breakfast, Magazines to Lunch

Sunday, February 1st, 2015
Creative Resources

Creative Resources

Posted by Tom Gable

Where do creative PR and other marketing, positioning and communicating ideas come from?

Experts recommend checking a broad range of media, including those you may not have encountered unless you go non-digital and take a newspaper or two to breakfast and a magazine or two to lunch.

In interviewing more than 20 applicants (ages 22 to 34) for jobs at Gable PR over a two-month period, I asked where they got their news. We were in a small conference room, with several different newspapers scattered on the table. All said online. One said she occasionally read the weekly business journal. I thumbed through a local daily and a weekly business journal with a couple of candidates just to see the reactions. None was aware of how the publications were organized but enjoyed following the flow of  the news, something not often experienced online.

It’s too easy to subscribe to different digital news trackers and feeds, click on a promising link when one arrives, check out the single story and then move on to another link to a different story. The process is efficient and valuable for following certain topics, people and organizations. The missing parts for anyone in communications: the joy of discovery of new topics and nonessential information that can broaden your base of knowledge, providing new stimulus for future creative thought.

As a former print journalist, I have always started the morning with newspapers, even in today’s digital era. I subscribe to two local daily newspapers (one regional metropolitan, one business and financial) and The Wall Street Journal. During the week, I get hard copies of the local weekly business journal, the Sunday New York Times, and a dozen magazines (news, business, science, wine, management). In reading the physical product, one sees how the editors ranked the importance of the news based on story and photo placements. You get a sense of the world as you move page to page. And this is where discovery occurs — finding odd little features or analytical pieces you might not have seen elsewhere, adding to your intellectual database. I find stories that I missed in scanning through the digital editions of several of these publications.

Stephen King, in is book On Writing, talked about where his ideas came from. “There is no idea dump, no story central, no island of buried bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky; two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.”

If we are coming up short on creative ideas for our clients during a brainstorming session, we’ll take a break for a day or two, assign further reading of the media covering our client, its competitors’ materials and general business media. We then ask each individual to come back with their top three ideas and compile the results for further brainstorming. The quality of the creative thought rises considerably as do the results for our clients, from positioning, to media stories, feature pitches, new product introduction ideas, conference speech topics, promotions and staging events for broadcast coverage, among other things.

For example, in helping position a new company and its software products for launch, the team read competitive coverage, marketing materials, trend stories in the industry and local news stories on some of the major customers in the space. They looked for what was there and also what wasn’t there — the ying and yang of creative thinking. The result: distinctive positioning for our client that became the foundation for a long-range strategic plan to help it break out of the competitive clutter and grow.

A little morning, midday and evening stimulus with a newspaper and magazine or two can go a long way.

Ultimate Sequester PR Strategy: the White House as content creator, channel master

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Posted by Tom Gable

Case histories will be written and studied for years on how the Obama White House has found new tools and tactics for connecting at the local level, while marginalizing major national media.

As covered in Politico in a piece called “Obama the puppet master,” the Obama White House has developed its own content creation machine to feed all channels of communication with tightly crafted messages that build the Obama brand. It chooses the channels with surgical precision. Why interview with The New York Times beat reporter who knows the issues and risk facing tough questions, Politico notes, when one can dominate local media through strategically scheduled interviews with friendly anchormen and women who may not be up on the issues?  The cumulative effect can be bigger than scoring a national media hit, as covered in depth by Politico.

The orchestration of coverage of potential economic Armageddon from the automatic budget cuts scheduled for March 1 (called Sequester) is the latest and most complex example of a local-national strategy. From the Secretary of Transportation setting the stage with future delays at major airports because of fewer air traffic controllers, to interviews in local markets with data on the anticipated loss of jobs (e.g. underway Feb. 26 in military towns in Virginia), the PR efforts are carrying consistent messages carefully chosen to appeal to each audience. How does it work?

Politico and a follow up piece by the Poynter Organization (“The dangerous delusions of the White House press corps and the president”) provided details. To summarize the key elements of the Obama White House approach and one that can work for brands, organizations, political candidates, new product introductions, crisis PR and other PR campaigns:

  • Develop a comprehensive, cohesive message strategy with consistent themes and supporting evidence;
  • Be precise in targeting and masterful in scheduling and orchestrating the individual parts of the program;
  • Go for local issues, with local examples;
  • The White House (or any brand) becomes the ultimate publisher (print, broadcast, photography, video, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, YouTube and more);
  • Every appearance or event needs to support the brand, to include great photo opportunities with locals for driving local coverage;
  • Control the content and flow through all channels by picking the media carefully;
  • Stage events to focus on the big messages and memorable lines and don’t allow time at the end for random media questions that might delve into negative territory and take the candidate, CEO or other luminary off-message;
  • Go for easy wins at the local level, then build regionally;
  • Ignore the major media unless they are friendly;
  • Produce your own photography and video rather than allow media coverage (local outlets are always looking for free content);
  • Shun those who have produced or written anything that would be considered negative;
  • Pound away at key messages through major pieces with the friendly media and TV personalities and support with social barrages to hit every target relentlessly;
  • Use the classic “weekend document dump” to avoid negative coverage and “minimize attention to embarrassing or messy facts”;
  • And orchestrate all the elements to ramp up for strategically and with surgical precision for maximum impact at a pre-designated date, such as an election or the day before the so-called fiscal cliff.

The latter – strategic planning of all elements for total control – represents the biggest challenge. Many organizations, brands and individuals can master parts of integrated campaigns.  Few would have the budget, the talent, the discipline and the power even close to that of the Obama White House to succeed on all fronts.

The bottom line, according to Politico:

“With more technology, and fewer resources at many media companies, the balance of power between the White House and press has tipped unmistakably toward the government. This is an arguably dangerous development, and one that the Obama White House — fluent in digital media and no fan of the mainstream press — has exploited cleverly and ruthlessly.”

Drawn and Quoted: classic one-liners on PR, writing, editing and literary criticism

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Sir Winston

Posted by Tom Gable

In preparing for a speech or thinking of adding a touch of humor to an article, I used to sit in front of a blank screen (or piece of typewriter paper in bygone days) and rummage through the sometimes dim corners of the attic of my mind in hopes of finding a forgotten gem or two. I started collecting favorites in a file for easier and more accurate recall.

The file has grown to more than 60 pages. I pulled it up over the weekend to stir the senses as I worked on a piece on how to improve PR writing for PRSA Tactics. I’ve pulled out some classics on PR, writing, literary criticism and editing that might stimulate a chuckle or two (or maybe not!).

PR, Advertising, Marketing

There is nothing so futile as having the right ideas and getting no attention. – John Kenneth Galbraith

You cannot bore people into buying your product. You must interest them into buying it. You cannot save souls in an empty church. – David Ogilvy 

I honestly believe that advertising is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. – Jerry Della Femina


I love being a writer. What I hate is the paperwork. – Peter de Vries

Every journalist has a novel in him, which is an excellent place for it. — Russell Lynes

Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead. – Gene Fowler

Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach’s ‘St. Matthew’s Passion’ on a ukulele. — Bagdikian’s Observation

My father has spent the best years of his life writing his extemporaneous speeches. – Randolph Churchill on Winston Churchill

I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top. – An English Professor, Ohio University

Literary Criticism, Guidance

There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. – W. Somerset Maugham

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. — Dorothy Parker

From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it. – Groucho Marx

Where facts are few, experts are many. – Donald R. Gannon

There are grammatical errors even in his silence. — Stanislaw J. Lec

The covers of this book are too far apart. – Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary. – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway

It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy. – James Thurber

Editing Tips

If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times: Resist hyperbole. – Anon

Never use a long word when a diminutive one will suffice. – Anon

Eschew Obfuscation. – Anon

Avoid awkward or affected alliteration. – Anon

Last, but not least, avoid clichés like the plague. – Anon

I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up. – Tom Lehrer


The New Newspaper and PR: Relationships Still Crucial

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Posted by Tom Gable

Jeff Light, editor of U-T San Diego (formerly The San Diego Union-Tribune), was telling a packed meeting of the local chapter of PRSA about changes at his paper and other papers around the world.

The local newspaper of record was becoming the digital multimedia content provider of record. Teams now push out news via email, text, audio and video. Papers (and magazines) cover breaking news on their websites as it happens, so in our world of always-on communications there is no need to wait for the evening news on TV to catch up, tuning to CBS News or other radio source during the commute or strolling out early tomorrow to pick up the morning daily from your doorstep or driveway (which is still a fun morning ritual for some!).

Light said the challenge all newspapers face is how to make them relevant and useful beyond the printed version while creating new revenue sources (the No. 1 revenue source of old — fat sections of classified advertising — disappeared into Craigslist). The news organizations have smaller staffs. Reporters are now “content contributors,” which can include writing for the website, recording video and audio and taking photos. Feature stories are scheduled in advance for the print edition. Daily news conferences determine what hot web stories go into the print edition.

Positive for PR

The new model can be positive for PR professionals, providing they understand the reporters and their beats, be honest, be forthright and provide facts and information that make it easier for reporters to tell their stories.

Light said the key to media coverage: it is all about relationships. Whom do the reporters know? Light said the PR professional is in a weak position trying to pitch someone they don’t know. For building successful relationships on the news side, get to know the reporter covering the beat. Build a relationship and reach a level of trust where a reporter will rely on the PR pro as a valuable source. Light was asked about the traits of a bad PR person: rigid, demanding and untruthful.

On organization, Light said the old model was undisciplined, unfocused, and inefficient and it often took a long time to develop a decent story. As people grew up in the profession and gained more skills, they usually pursued fewer, bigger stories. Small but important pieces sat on the sideline. In the new model – Website first, then figure out what might make the print edition – writers have to be more productive. The challenge: be efficient and competent.

Finding Good Stories

Light said the U-T has cut down on the number of things it covers and built a more focused approach to finding good stories across the different news beats. He provided a quick litany of how to build a beat. What is the big story? What really matters? Whom do you have to know to develop the relationships that can lead to the story? Reporters need understanding and access. Big pieces grow from small pieces. PR pros can help.

With fewer editing layers, the U-T does suffer from an increased number of errors, Light acknowledged. He said he was not sure additional layers improve quality. The, for example, has no copy editors and is wildly successful. He wants his teams to “do it once and do it right.”

When asked about the new look of the paper, Light said the rebranding to U-T San Diego had been brewing for some time. Research showed the brand image suffered from many negative perceptions and misconceptions. The executive teams and advisors felt they needed to send a big signal that this was not the old San Diego Union Tribune.

Bye-Bye Local-Local News?

For competition, the hyper-local Patch phenomenon will fail sooner rather than later, Light said. The timing is wrong. The challenge of local-local news is that it is hard to make its scale. A publisher can’t succeed with a big staff and small audiences. You want big audiences with a small staff, he said. The more local you are and the more content creation you do, the smaller the audience.

Bottom line: Papers are being rebranded, refocused, dressed up in new clothes and sent out digitally to connect with readers and, now, viewers. For news junkies, the content is imminently searchable but I wondered if I would ever be comfortable reading my news on a smart phone, clicking on links to get more detail, scrolling to find other links to supporting sidebars or just browsing page to page for fun.

Next: The Copyboy Chronicles (where cut-and-paste came from)



Mastering “The Accidents of Style – How Not to Write Badly”

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Words for the Wise

Posted by Tom Gable

This classic book by Charles Harrington Elster contains 350 of the most-committed errors in writing.  It starts with “every day or everyday” and strides quickly and eloquently through conundrums and confusing choices PR and news people face every day (this is correct!).  A few:

  • A lot or alot
  • Can not or cannot
  • Anyway or any way
  • Their, they’re or there (This includes a sample of the Elster humor that runs through the book: “There is no there there,” wrote Gertrude Stein in a rare moment of lucidity at the end of one of her notoriously incoherent sentences.)
  • Imply or infer
  • All right or alright
  • Be careful with Very
  • Avoid the lazy mechanical use of Basically (when you see an adverb, kill it; good tight writing has no unnecessary words)
  • Misuse of less for fewer
  • Overuse of Impact (The sad thing is that this powerful word, which traditionally connotes considerable force, has lost all its forcefulness through incessant repetition.  The only power impact has retained is the ability to cause a headache.)
  • Penultimate does not mean Ultimate or Final

Elster quotes several of the classic tomes, including “The Elements of Style,” “Simple and Direct,” “The Careful Writer” and the “Dictionary of Troublesome Words.”  He uses turns of the phrase and creative metaphors and analogies to make his points with clarity and humor. The book is highly recommended for anyone (versus any one) interested in honing their wordsmithing skills.


Reuters DC News Editor Provides IPREX Meeting with Newsroom Insights, Tips

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Quest to be First

Posted by Tom Gable

The information-packed IPREX annual meeting in Washington, DC, drew partners from some 35 cities on three contents to learn from experts and share best practices in public relations and public affairs in closed sessions among this global brain trust. One of the early sessions featured Kristin Roberts, Washington news editor and deputy bureau chief for Reuters. The high-energy journalist started by reading a collection of bad news releases received by her bureau just this morning – several embarrassments, including for major PR firms who did go unnamed.

From there, Kristin offered some quick tips for the assembled PR pros, many of whom were ex-journalists:

  • To connect with the news media, don’t go to the bureau chief of editor. Find the person covering the beat. Do some research.
  • Be straightforward. You have news, you have background, or you have a potential resource for future background on a specific topic.
  • Be persistent if it’s a good story and you don’t get immediate responses to your voice mails or emails.
  • The daily email flow is daunting. Editors will always open email from a trusted source. For others, the subject line needs to be compelling.
  • The news cycle churns by the second. Reuters aims to be first and measures itself against Bloomberg and Dow Jones in seconds.
  • A media outlet might have only a 30-second lead in breaking a story. The great ones can sometimes hold up for a day until the other media catch up, as happened with Kristin in breaking news of the Iraq Surge under President Bush.
  • When managing coverage of the killing of Osama bin Laden, she woke correspondents up all over the world before the President’s talk. The lead writer worked from home, away from distractions. She ran to the office in her running shoes, but got called to the White House because their correspondent was solo and needed help. When asked if she went in sneakers, she said no and gave a fashion tip: she had high heels in her gym bag and kept them everywhere (office, car trunk, home).
  • When asked about Twitter: “I hate it. I am too old for Twitter (she is 36).” She said she doesn’t trust it and isn’t comfortable with it. They double check anything and everything from Twitter that might be a relevant news lead. This includes whether the Tweet is real or bogus.
  • PR is important to the news business. She was amazed that the Libyan rebels had a spokesman in one week and were issuing news releases.
  • Reuters aims to be objective in the news. Blogs are different, where it’s not the content that’s important, but the tone. She admitted to being “snarky” in her blogs, but snarky to all. She bragged that no one knows how she votes, not even her husband.

Facebook as the largest news organization ever? LOL!

Friday, April 8th, 2011

News or Not?

Posted by Tom Gable

In journalism, there has always been a tension between getting it first and getting it right.

— Ellen Goodman

The quote from the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist is cited here to establish a framework for a response to a recent Harvard Business Review blog by Joshua Gans that “Facebook is the largest news organization ever.”

He writes:

“News organizations do two major things, commercially speaking: they use news to grab attention and then sell that attention to advertisers.”

Gans says Facebook provides a platform whereby individuals became reporters, editors, and publishers. But a lot of what is being communicated is trivia, such as commuting delays, bad food experiences, hassles with the job and a sick child. People joke, whine and commiserate. They post opinions.

Gans asks the rhetorical question on who would be interested: you and your friends and family. So what? This lures advertisers to Facebook who can target ads to pop up when you, your family and friends are communicating.

I’d argue that Facebook is a powerful platform for communicating in many ways about anything. Some news may exist that appeals to broader audiences, but most of what pops could be called the digital equivalent of the coffee klatch (or an extended version of The View).

If one goes to Anwers.Com or Dictionary.Com


1. New information, especially about recent events and happenings: advice (often used in plural), intelligence, tiding (often used in plural), word. Informal scoop. See knowledge/ignorance, words.

2. Something significant that happens: circumstance, development, episode, event, happening, incident, occasion, occurrence, thing. See happen.

Professional journalism traditionally aims for accuracy, enlightenment and fairness. Some Bloggers and Twits claim to practice citizen journalism, which others dismiss as fluff, hype and churnalism. Legitimate media, including top bloggers, post corrections and updates when stories are wrong. Doing a search for corrections on Twitter doesn’t turn up much. Younger consumers of news and information may have difficulty discerning the difference between professional journalism and faux fast news. The race to be first is having an impact on financial news coverage as well.

Tim Carmody, in a piece titled “Twitter, tech bubbles, and the nostalgia of the technology press” for Nieman Journalism Lab, wrote that the technology press is getting pushed in new directions and helping inflate bubbles, “worrying over them, and watching them burst.”

“ What is new, according to Federated Media’s John Battelle and Thomson Reuters’ Connie Loizos, is how the accelerated news cycle of blogs, Twitter, and other digital media forces the technology press to work at the same speed as the investors they cover — with the same worries about getting in early and beating competitors trumping the real value of the product. In this case, though, the product is their own journalism.”

Carmody quoted an email from Loizos about Twitter and Quora spreading good and bad information equally quickly, and in volume. “The first story out wins.” She notes that journalists no longer compete against one another but “also against savvy investors and entrepreneurs who know they can reach just as broad an audience by delivering their news themselves via Twitter and their blogs.”

Battelle commented that Churnalism is a much bigger problem than just press releases and wire stories. It’s everywhere — and creating an echo chamber unprecedented in its size and reach.

Carmody wrote:

“…blogs and social media offer both entrepreneurs and journalists new modes of engagement with each other and a different kind of conversation with their readers. At the same time, the demands of traditional news formats can actually push us into stories that privilege new forms of manipulation. Reporters seeking a news peg for an analysis-driven story about a popular company can find quotes from blogs, Twitter, or Quora as easily as they can from a company’s press release, putting the same texts and voices into circulation.”

Whom do you trust?

The Seven-Point Litmus Test for Creating Real PR News Stories

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Going for P.1

Posted by Tom Gable

Today’s PR University teleseminar from Bulldog Reporter covered “10 PR Power Writing Tips: How to Create Compelling Copy That People Want to Read and Share.”

The panelists were: Michael Smart, national news director, Brigham Young University, and founder, Michael Smart PR; Nancy Brenner, senior vice president, MS&L Global Corporate, New York; Don Bates, APR, Fellow PRSA; academic director, Graduate School of Political Management, George Washington University; and Tom Gable, APR, Fellow PRSA, CEO, Gable PR. Jon Greer moderated.

I’ll provide more details later on some of the great tips from my fellow panelists in such topics as: be an internal reporter; know your audiences; word choice matters; always be concise; make news when you don’t have any; where’s the wow: rewrite, revise, repeat; and commit yourself to continuous improvement. Within that, yours truly covered the Gable PR seven-point litmus test we use as a starting point for issuing real news stories with topical, relevant information and evocative and provocative quotes. Here is the short course, adapted from an earlier PR University teleseminar and workshops at various PRSA and Counselors Academy conferences:

  1. Is it really newsworthy to anyone other than the company and, perhaps, the CEO’s family and a few friends?
  2. How big is the impact: company, community, region, market niche or category, industry, technology or science breakthrough, nation, hemisphere, humanity?
  3. Has the same or similar story already been told (quick database research will answer the question)?
  4. Can the premise be supported by valid data, third party sources, real case histories and ongoing proof of principle?
  5. Does the company have credible “gurus,” or spokesmen and women who can bring the story to life and become valuable and trusted resources for the media?
  6. Can the company be further differentiated by its people, technology, culture and personality? Or if you lined up all the companies in the space would they all look and sound alike?
  7. Can the story be summarized in a compelling headline, Tweet or one or two-sentence sound bite or elevator pitch? If posted through social media, will it generate interest and action (Re-tweeting, links, etc.)?

This quick test can help create a smart, compelling and interesting story or posting that breaks through the clutter, communicates to key audiences and supports the long-term image and reputation of your client or organization.  For tracking Tweets from the teleseminar use the hash tag: #bulldogpr

Quoting the Greats on PR, Journalism and Creativity

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Creative Seeding

Posted by Tom Gable

I was working on a copy for a workshop for the PRSA Counselors Academy’s annual conference and subsequent articles on improving writing skills for the PR profession and had slid into a creative morass. Having been a journalist, I turned to the proven ploy of using research to find brilliant people I could quote, then benefit from the halo effect. The quest turned up a few gems I may or may not use, but thought I would share them for the good of the order:

I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

— Robert McCloskey, State Department spokesman

It’s not easy getting up there and saying nothing. It takes a lot of preparation.

– White House spokesman Barry Tiov

Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach’s ‘St. Matthew’s Passion’ on a ukulele.

— Bagdikian’s Observation

Every journalist has a novel in him, which is an excellent place for it.

— Russell Lynes

I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up.

– Tom Lehrer

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.

— Daniel J. Boorstin

There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

— W. Somerset Maugham

Where facts are few, experts are many.

— Donald R. Gannon

What’s another word for Thesaurus?

— Steven Wright

I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.

— Peter De Vries

Don’t use a big word where a diminutive one will suffice.

— Anon

If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times: Resist hyperbole.

– Anon

Eschew Obfuscation.

– Anon

Avoid awkward or affected alliteration.

– Anon

Last, but not least, avoid clichés like the plague.

– Anon