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Guest tip: Excise the IZEs!

placard reading Excise the IZEs!

The tendency to add IZE to nouns is an old story in English. The practice has been going on for centuries. Apologize was born before 1600, and criticize appeared in Shakespeare’s day. Revolutionize came along before 1800; burglarize first appeared in the 1870s. Edwin Newman, in his book A Civil Tongue, suggests that by adding…

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Quick tip: Shun the TIONs!

2 bowls of rice to show short verb + tion = puffed-up noun

2.5 minute read. 3.5 minute listen.  I see them all across the nation, to my total consternation: puffed-up words that end in TION. Too many people play this game of word puffery. You just add TION to any verb, and “poof!” it turns into a noun.  But in my book, that’s going in the wrong…

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White Paper World 38: March 22, 2024

White Paper World llogo new Oct 2023

Quick tip: Here’s how to handle LSD Fresh content: White papers and… the Greek gods?! March book winner: Erica Vega Marketing Warfare and fabulous flanking Remembering John Gallop Click here to listen to this entire issue, 16:15 minutes Quick tip: Here’s how to handle LSD 3 minute read. 3:15 minute listen. No, this isn’t advice…

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Quick tip: Here’s how to handle LSD

yellow blue capsule with numbers inside

No, this isn’t advice on avoiding bad trips. This is about writing numbers clearly, using the notion of the Least Significant Digit (LSD). 3 minute read. Y minute listen.   One of my pet peeves is false precision: numbers that suggest more accuracy than they can possibly convey. For example, say you drive to a…

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Quick tip: How to layer information for multiple audiences

multi-layer rainbow cake to signify layering information in a white paper

Ideally you can create one white paper for every segment of your target audience. But what if you can’t swing that? What if for some reason—time, money, or whatever—you need to reach more than one audience with the same white paper? In another article, I described how to “clone” one basic document for various segments…

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White Paper World 37: February 16, 2024

White Paper World logo Feb-2024

Listen up: Now there’s audio! Quick tip: 3 steps to a stronger title [with example] This just in: 6 out of 10 B2B marketers use white papers, again Help with your next white paper: Get a blueprint! Listen up: Now there’s audio! 1 minute read. 1 minute listen.   Drum roll, please! You can now…

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Quick tip: 3 steps to a stronger title [with example]

bride in white wedding dress holding red roses

The title is the single most important line in your white paper. A good title gets your paper noticed. A poor title gets it ignored. That’s why much of the success of a white paper depends on your title. But many writers struggle with titles. So here’s a step-by-step process that makes writing your title…

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Quick tip: Don’t say “once every xx seconds…”

Woman sitting alone with stat on 1 suicide every 40 seconds

I’ve been researching suicide lately. Don’t worry; I’m not thinking about doing myself in. It’s for a fictional story I’m working on. In my research, I encountered a statistic that always bugs me. Here it is, from no less than the World Health Organization: Suicide: one person dies every 40 seconds1 What a shocker, right?…

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Quick tip: Here’s a great little book on statistics

So far, I’ve posted two quick tips on how to avoid shoddy statistics. Both articles included examples from the real world. You can see those here: Don’t use numbers out of context Don’t say “once every xx seconds…” So how about some positive tips on how to use numbers properly? If you’re interested in how…

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Quick tip: Understand the audience for your white paper

groups of colleagues all put their hands in to signify understanding

Comedians know it. Politicians know it. And white paper writers must know it, too. The first key to success is to understand your audience. “Understanding your audience will help you write the content they need in the words and the way they need it,” says industry veteran Ginny Redish in her excellent book, Letting Go…

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