Content Editing Hack: Eschew Obfuscation


Nobody writes great copy or content with only one edit.

So here's a great editing hack.

Think about editing like hunting.

Write down a list of things to look for. Then go hunting for them. One at a time.

One thing you should definitely hunt for is big words.

Don't believe me? Check out the following article from the May, 1875 edition of the Pennsylvania School Journal:

When promulgating your esoteric cogitations, or articulating your superficial sentimentalities and amicable, philosophical, or psychological observations, you should always beware of platitudinous ponderosity.

So let your conversational communications possess a clarified conciseness, a compacted comprehensibleness, a coalescent consistency, and a concatenated cogency.

Eschew obfuscation and all conglomerations of flatulent garrulity, jejune babblement, and asinine affectation.

Let your extemporaneous descantings and unpremeditated expatiations have intelligibility and veracious vivacity, without rhodomontade, or thrasonical bombast.

Sedulously avoid all polysyllabic profundity, pompous prolixity, psittaceous vacuity, ventriloquial verbosity, and vaniloquent vapidity.

Shun double entendres, prurient jocosity, and pestiferous profanity, obscure or apparent.

In other words, write plainly, briefly, naturally, truthfully, and purely.

Don't put on airs.

Say what you mean.

Mean what you say.

Hunt down big words and replace them with simpler ones.

Now, I didn't say boring ones.

Human languages are filled with all sorts of colorful ways to say the same thing ( especially English).

Open up a thesaurus. Combine words together.

Today a colleague of mine referred to Thursday as ”Friday JR.”

Have fun.

The possibilities are endless.

Always hunt yourself.

But also take advantage of tools like Hemmingway Editor. It will do more that just root out big words. It will help you get your writing to a level everyone can understand (Which is apparently that of a 5th grade reading level).

Grammarly is also a great tool.

But don't use these tools till the very end.

They’ll get in the way of everything else.

Comments 6

FYI: The comment by the cheetah bot below is a friendly reminder to attribute sources. It scanned and found the same phrases elsewhere, so it's letting you know.

20.12.2019 04:35

Yeah. It's the famous big with quote. I thought I did but I must have deleted it riding editing. Thanks! And what a great tool!

20.12.2019 08:16

How am I you g so far? Any more good tips? Any writing Or advertising knowledge requests?

20.12.2019 08:25

Very informative stuff so far! Building a following on here is daunting. There are also a number of Discords you could join to network more.

21.12.2019 00:44

Discords? That sounds very Robert Anton Wilson.

22.12.2019 02:10