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Quick tip: Use AI to make a Mini-Me

Dr Evil and Mini-Me

Remember the Austin Powers spy spoof movies? And the ones where supervillain Dr. Evil had a miniature clone of himself, called Mini-Me? Mini-Me dressed the same, talked the same, and shared many of the same silly tics as Dr. Evil. But he was a whole lot shorter. This is how to think about the executive…

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Quick tip: Use AI for tech support

robot hand making fist bump with human hand

Quick tip: Use AI for tech support DO YOU EVER HAVE SOFTWARE HEADACHES? Or some new gadget you’re trying to figure out? I know I do. But any writer working from a home office doesn’t have any IT team to call. When we need tech support, we’re often stuck. We can try: Combing through online…

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Quick tip: Get to the point

stressed-out B2B prospect rubbing his tired eyes

Did you hesitate before clicking on this tip? Even though it’s labeled “quick”? Then you know just how your white paper readers feel. No one is waiting on the edge of their chair for your white paper to arrive. B2B prospects are busy! They have: Too much to read Too much to think about Too…

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Quick tip: Excise the IZEs! [guest tip from Bob Bly]

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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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: 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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