The Wordbrain blog

Thoughts on how and why business writing succeeds or (more often) fails
Bad writing isn’t always obvious

Bad writing doesn't have to shout 'Look how bad I am!' It can be sneakier than that. Writing can dress itself up in...

The eloquence of typos

This is President Trump's official inauguration portrait, on sale at the United States Library of Congress. Isn't it magnificent? And it has a beautiful...

Online banking with a smile

Remember Smile, the online bank? If you're of a certain age you probably will. At one time they were pioneers. But Smile went...

The emptiness of excellence

I don't like excellence. Sure, I like things done well. I like people who are brilliant at things I could never master. But...

Writing is actually thinking

The most important factor in good writing isn't the quality of its style but the quality of its ideas. Style matters for sure, but...

Words written to be spoken

Most of the stuff I write is written to be read. I doubt it's often spoken out loud. True, there may be a...

One key technique for more persuasive emails

So much business communication is about persuading someone to agree to what you're proposing. It could be getting permission from your boss, it could be asking a client to...