to The Cheshire Group eNewsletter
The Cheshire Press ... Here's our newest
book of poetry: Tacking Lessons, by Nancy Miller.
In her new poetry collection, poet, memoirist
and musician Nancy Bailey Miller takes the reader with her
into the tricky waters she navigates like the gifted verbal
sailor she is: dreams, memory, family history, shifting relationships,
the familiar seen as with the fresh eyes of the traveler,
the unfamiliar tamed and rendered ours, new places and situations
explored by a mind blessed by restlessness and keen powers
Purchase a copy from the cheshire
press website today.
This is the 66th issue of The Better Mousetrap.
We have archived all the previous issues on our web site.
It is easy to review all of them. Just click
here for the list or go to the Cheshire
Group web site and click on the link that says "Newsletter
AMAZING, LO-CAL COPY DIET.
How to Trim The Fat From Your Business Writing
have something important to say. Do you want to package your
message in a casing of fat? Readable copy is svelte copy. It's
lean. It's attractive. It's easy to read. Even writers of technical
spec sheets should run calorie checks on verbiage, then reduce
word counts and tighten bulges.|
There are two parts to writing:
composition and revision. Both are important.
Composition—Where Your Genius Gorges Itself.
In the heat of composition, indulge your genius. Get down all
the words your hot little brain thinks up. At this point, fat
writing is fine. You'll put your copy on a diet later.
Revision—Where the Fat Gets Trimmed.
Promise yourself never to let first drafts go out the door.
Probably second drafts shouldn't go either.
Like dieting, revising is hard.
It's difficult to give up rich favorites and images that your
genius whipped up in composition. Let your writing cool before
you begin cutting. Put the piece away. Then revise in stages.
Take off a little today; trim some more tomorrow. Remove
every ounce of copy that isn't
(excuse us) pulling its weight.
Use strong nouns and verbs. "The man came
into the room" becomes, when Paul Simon writes it, Fat Charlie
the Archangel sloped into the room," Strong nouns and
Use the active voice. The active voice
is stronger clearer, livelier—and shorter. "I walked
around the block." vs. the passive version "The block was
walked around by me."
the positive form. "The clerk did not pay any attention
to me" is weaker than "The clerk ignored me."
words that are specific and direct rather than fancy.
"Help, the house is on fire! Call the fire department."
communicates the emergency better than "A conflagration
is engulfing the establishment! Summon assistance in an expedient
aware of the points of emphasis.
beginning and ending of a sentence deliver the most punch and
of the two positions the ending is the stronger. "These
are the times that try men's souls" is more stirring than,
"These times are very trying."
needless words. All the style books can be summarized
in these three words by Will Strunk. Follow the advice and
you've done a lot to cut the fat in your business writing.
Phrases to Avoid
as to whether
where is it at
the fact that
he is the one who
in the event of
one of the most
MIRACLE OF RESEARCH.
The Schaefer Beer Story
said David Ogilvy in his essay 18 Miracles of Research,"
can help you decide the optimum positioning for your product."
(We just quoted Miracle #7, by the way). But our story starts
with Schaefer's desire to sell more beer.
The Schaefer Brewing Company
wanted to increase beer sales. They understood that increased
sales could come from neophytes—new beer drinkers or
from converts wooed away from other brands of beer. They decided
the second category had more potential.
The challenge: find a way Schaefer
could make their beer more appealing than the beers of the
Schaefer, the sponsor of the
old Brooklyn Dodgers, turned to research to learn the habits
and tastes of beer drinkers. They
sent copywriters and account execs into the numerous bars
of Brooklyn (and other places). Whether the writers and account
execs felt right at home in the bars of Brooklyn, we'll leave
Sitting on stools, schmoozing
with customers, the researchers asked, "What do you like
/ What don't you like about beer?"
As the questions were asked
and answered over and over, a pattern began to emerge. Beer
drinkers were saying that there was nothing like that first
taste of cold beer. The first beer. The second or
third beers could never match that first, cold quaff.
The researchers were certain
that they had a valid trend. Now they were in a position to
turn the results over to the creative department to carve
out a position.
The new challenge: come up with
a reformulation of the beer and a position—in
the shape of a slogan—that suggests that every single
Schaefer beer tastes as good as the first one you drink.
The campaign, born out of research,
was a resounding success. And the slogan—do you remember
Schaefer is the one
beer to have
when you're having more than one.
always read the coffee mugs that people bring to meetings
and slam down on desks. Pop psychology, office philosophy,
dropped spiritual crumbs—they all end up printed
on mugs. Here are a few...
Since I am without sin, I will cast the first stone.
meteorology: The position of the
chef determines the direction of the wind.
is the ability to let someone else have your way.
is the second greatest thrill known to man. Landing
is the first.
in the universe is subject to change and everything
is on schedule.
put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things.
Right now I am so far behind I will never die.
spellers of the world. UNTIE!
waist is a terrible thing to mind.
don't stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old
because you stop laughing.
ABCs OF BUSINESS-PART V.
A Modern Glossary for Workplace Survival
at the Office is a wonderful thing, and don't
let party poopers tell you differently. The saucy tang of
naughty indiscretion adds bite to the affair, and the ferocity
of unchained emotion is thrown into high relief by the drab
environment in which it has exploded. Like all romances that
take root in a highly specialized world, however you office
love may not survive transplantation into other social milieu,
cities or jobs. So enjoy it while it lasts—and if lasts
is highly valued in all cultures, sometimes to the exclusion
of all other attributes. Where it doesn't exist, things well
and truly suck. Remember: a corporation is organized to make
money, perpetuate itself unto a thousand generations and grow
like a weed. Its ultimate loyalty has been and always must
be to itself.
is a perfectly serviceable business that has been allowed
to bloat into a behemoth of unmanageable size, frequency and
duration by professional hedonists who have elevated its marginal
status to Olympian proportions. Try to be one of them.
in the Wall Street Journal
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"One of the most valuable things one of my
art teachers said to me was 'Don't be upset by criticism.
Value the fact that at least someone noticed what
comic book artist
would rather have questions that can't be answered
than answers that can't be questioned."
and purpose go hand-in-hand.When you discover your
purpose, you will normally find it's something you're
tremendously passionate about."
a better mouse-trap and the world will beat a path to your
Ralph Waldo Emerson
can build it but they don't have to come. Let your
market know the product is there.
BETTER MOUSE-TRAP helps you do it. To do it even better
call The Cheshire Group at
978 475-1478 or visit us at: