1. Be clear.
We don’t always have to be clever, thank goodness. Often simply being clear is enough. Clarity means finding the right level of detail for the circumstances. Clarity means leaving out information so people can fill in the details in their own mind.
2. Choose the right word.
You might consider the dictionary the final word on words, but ‘the’ dictionary doesn’t exist. Language isn’t something that can be captured, in a book or anywhere else. Words evoke ideas and moods, feelings and shades of meaning. Not Meaning.
Reebok once called a women’s athletic shoe Incubus. An incubus is a demon from medieval folklore that rapes women in their sleep. Never call a stomache a tummy without a good reason, said E.B. White in Elements of style.
Ambiguity gives us two meanings for the price of one.
Metaphor creates complex ideas out of simpler ones.