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Tap into the Power of “3” in Your Writing

by Barbara McNichol

Our society loves “3”; we remember things in “3s”; we’ve learned it from kindergarten when we were told to hop, skip, jump and stop, look, and listen.

Businesses gravitate toward “3” when they create marketing taglines. Look at these examples:

  • Reduce, reuse, recycle (recycle guide)
  • Buy it. Sell it. Love it. (eBay)
  • Grace, space, pace. (Jaguar)

How can you improve your writing by tapping into the power of “3”? Consider this example from a newsletter. The rewrite flows better because of the three-part rhythm brought into play.

Before:
You are free to choose, create and live the life you want if you are willing to investigate, make changes, update your protective strategies, be honest with yourself, and invest in what it takes to continue growing. (37 words)

After:
You are free to choose, create, and live the life you want. (12 words)

That works if you are willing to investigate, update your strategies with honesty, and invest in continuing to grow. (20 words)

Also, notice how the long-winded sentence of 37 words was broken into two shorter sentences with breathing space between. Ah, much easier for readers to follow.

How can you tap into the power of “3” in your writing? Keep this question top of mind with everything you write.

Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping administration professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created a Word Trippers Tips resource so you can quickly find the right word when it matters most. It allows you to improve your writing through excellent weekly resources in your inbox, including a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks. Details at www.wordtrippers.com/odi

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