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15 September 2016
Welcome to The Cheshire Group eNewsletter

From The Cheshire Press ... Here's our newest Tacking Lessonspublication-a 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 of observation.

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 Archive."

How to Trim The Fat From Your Business Writing

You 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 verbs brighten.
  • 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."
  • Use the positive form. "The clerk did not pay any attention to me" is weaker than "The clerk ignored me."
  • Use 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 manner!"
  • Be aware of the points of emphasis.
  • The 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."
  • Omit 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.

  • Fat Phrases to Avoid


    as to whether
    where is it at
    doubt but
    help but
    very unique
    the fact that
    he is the one who
    in the event of
    one of the most






    The Schaefer Beer Story

    "Research" 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 many competitors.
         Schaefer, the sponsor of the old Brooklyn Dodgers, turned to research to learn the habits and tastes of beer drinkers. Schaefer BeerThey 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 to speculation.
         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 it?

    Schaefer is the one beer to have
    when you're having more than one.



    We 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.

    Barbecue meteorology: The position of theCoffee Mus chef determines the direction of the wind.

    Diplomacy is the ability to let someone else have your way.

    Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man. Landing is the first.

    Everything in the universe is subject to change and everything is on schedule.

    God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind I will never die.

    Bad spellers of the world. UNTIE!

    A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

    You don't stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing.

    A Modern Glossary for Workplace Survival

    Love 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 forever, bravo.

    Loyalty 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.

    Lunch 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.

    to be continued

    Stanley Bing
    in the Wall Street Journal

    Click here to visit the NFIB websiteWe are a proud member of the National Federation of Independent Business. For more information click on the logo.

    The Cheshire Group is a full service Print and Digital Advertising Agency. We offer services for Web Site Development & Maintenance, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Print and Digital Media Advertising, Brochures, Direct Marketing and Publicity. Our Cheshire Press division offers On-Demand print book and enewsletter publishing. Our book publications are available in print and digital versions

    The Amazing, Lo-Cal Copy Diet .

    A Miracle of Research.
    Coffee Mug Philosophy.
    The ABC's of Business, Part V.





    "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 you did.'"

    Chris Ware
    comic book artist









    "I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned."

    Richard Feynman
    Nobel Laureate










    "Passion and purpose go hand-in-hand.When you discover your purpose, you will normally find it's something you're tremendously passionate about."

    Steve Pavlina



































    "Build a better mouse-trap and the world will beat a path to your door."

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    You can build it but they don't have to come. Let your market know the product is there.


    THE BETTER MOUSE-TRAP helps you do it. To do it even better call The Cheshire Group at
    978 475-1478 or visit us at:

    Please send us an email and let us know your thoughts on The Better Mousetrap.
    Your comments and questions are welcome.