6,450 words of unbroken text: when longer copy works

The throwaway ‘tl;dr’ acroynm – ‘too long, didn’t read’ – encapsulates common wisdom about the value of longer passages of text. In a networked world overbrimming with information, the narrative goes, people don’t want, and

Future fossils: how long do languages last?

All living languages change over time, drifting imperceptibly like the seasons. They keep their inner logic, the rules governing word order, tense, the use of inflection to denote singular and plural. But words come and

On navigating the constellation of words

You are writing a blog post, text for a web page or a feature for a publication. You have prepared with commendable diligence. You have a good understanding of who you are writing for. You

Seeing clearly: a brief introduction to classic style

Classic style is a mode of writing that is widely used but rarely identified as a distinct style. Perhaps it’s so ubiquitous it’s hard to see. According to Francis Nöel-Thomas and Thomas Turner, whose book

Style: getting over the fear of the blank page

Style is the principal technique writers use to overcome the dread of the blank page, or the empty screen with the blinking cursor: that austere white landscape able to paralyse us with its infinity of