Communication Tips for Clear Writing and Talking

John Piper has posted some helpful tips from C.S. Lewis on communication. Below is #4.  Read the short post here.

In writing, don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the things you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us the thing is “terrible,” describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers “Please, will you do my job for me.”

(Originally published in Letters to Children, letter from June 26, 1956. Quoted in Wayne Martindale and Jerry Root in The Quotable Lewis, p. 623.)

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