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Accentuate the Positive

Last updated 2 years ago

Writing too many negative sentences is a habit worth breaking. When this happens, our writing becomes boring and hard to read. Here's an example:

Bob and Alice didn't get along very well. At a Giants game, Bob said, "Why didn't you wear an orange jacket instead of that blue one?" Alice answered, "You wouldn't notice if I did." Even though they never stopped arguing, when they left, Bob said, "Don't forget to buy tickets for next week's game."

Did you notice that every sentence contains a negative word? After several paragraphs, we might be pretty tired of this pattern.  But look what happens when we eliminate the negatives:

Bob and Alice had trouble getting along. At a Giants game, Bob said, "Why did you wear a blue jacket instead of an orange one?" Alice answered, "Would you notice if I did?" Even though they continued to argue, when they left, Bob said, "Remember to buy tickets for next week's game."

Give your writing the "NOT test." Have you fallen into the too-many-negatives habit? Try rewriting your sentences and notice the difference!
 

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