The triangular spikes that studded the tree’s bark caught my eye along the Costa Rican trail. They’re the spiny cedar’s protection against sloths who would scale it. When you write, please don’t put spikes on your text. They’ll turn away the time-pressed readers who are your sloths.
What are the spikes in your writing?
In many cases, the spikes in advisors’ writing are ten-dollar words: fancy-schmancy jargon or Latinate words that could easily be replaced by plain English.
For example, I’ve long disliked the word “mitigate,” as I wrote in “Can you make a case for mitigate?” “Financial writers clinic: Getting rid of ‘mitigate,'” and “BNY Mellon: I liked your ‘truth ad’ until you used that word.”
By the way, if you’d like to see a genuine spiny cedar, my husband and I took this photo on the Teak and Canal trail of Hacienda Baru on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.