English

This is how you write a great title for a blog post

Several years ago, if you were to write an article on article titles and you wanted its own title to work best, you would name it something like “Coming up with a great title for an article” or even “10 qualities of a great title”. That was how you attracted clicks.

But recently something has changed. The articles now have titles like “Here is what you should know before updating iOS” or “Look at this amazing picture of Mars made by Curiosity”. As if the first sentence of the text was used in place of a title. The more and more we see these titles that try to shift your attention from themselves to what goes after them. It is the content of an article, right?

Wrong. What really goes after them is a link. That is how twitter sharing works. Now that the title itself is no longer clickable, there no need to attract clicks to it. Instead, a title should look like a direct speech of someone who shares the link, adding to the credibility of the link that follows.

I find it fascinating how technology changes language.

2013   English   text

The language you can’t comprehend

great article about how people don’t make sense anymore:

We have forgotten how to use the real names of real things. Like doorknobs. Instead, people talk about the idea of doorknobs, without actually using the word “doorknob”. So a new idea for a doorknob becomes “an innovation in residential access”.

Not a new thought, but well written.

2011   English   quotes

Shall and will

On shall and will:

In formal writing, the future tense requires shall for the first person, will for the second and third. The formula to express the speaker’s belief regarding the future action or state is I shall; I will expresses determination or consent. A swimmer in distress cries, «I shall drown; no one will save me!» A suicide puts it the other way: «I will drown; no one shall save me!» In relaxed speech, however, the words shall and will are seldom used precisely; our ear guides us or fails to guide us, as the case may be, and we are quite likely to drown when we want to survive and survive when we want to drown.

William Strunk jr. and E. B. White. The Elements Of Style.

It’s always appeared to me that shall has a tinge of “should”.

Highly recommended reading.

2010   English