Denny's Daily Zinger: WWW - Worst Writing of the Week
I was horrified by ISIS and the beheading of journalist James Foley. And further appalled at the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff.
Below was the headline of The New York Times online lead story:
Obama Enlists 9 Allies to Help in the Battle Against ISIS
Thank God the president is finally acting, I thought.
What countries of the world are willing to support the United States?
I started reading ... and reading ... and reading ... and reading ... and reading ... and reading ... and reading ... and reading ...
After 568 words of blather came the answer:
Mr. Obama spoke after aides had unveiled what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called the "core coalition" to fight the ISIS militants, the outcome of a hastily organized meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit talks. Diplomats and defense officials from the United States, Britain, France, Australia, Canada, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Denmark huddled to devise a two-pronged strategy: strengthening allies on the ground in Iraq and Syria, while bombing Sunni militants from the air.
Takeaways to Consider
- The sentence above is 76 words. (Correction: The above is actually two sentences, 36 and 41 words respectively, as several readers have pointed out. I am sorry. Both sentences are still far too long to easily read.)
- For readability, make no sentence longer than 29 words—ever.
- When you write a gripping headline, don't bore hell out of the reader with 568 words of pontificating before you get to the point.
- Helene Cooper's editor at the Times should be fired.
- Newspapers are dying because they are unreadable.
Denny Hatch's new book is Write Everything Right!
***** Five Stars The best part is that this book is not just for authors, journalists, and other professional writers, it is for everyone. After all, everyone uses writing in some part of their lives and the way that you write reflects you as a person. Hatch provides you with a ton of tips that will help you turn your writing into something that people will be sure to read —Scott
Click Here and read the first 3 Chapters FREE.
Write Everything Right! Kindle Edition.