Last modified on 15 November 2012, at 22:15

Elements of Political Communication: General guidelines – Sound

When writing, repeat phrases to emphasize themes or ideas, but avoid repeating the same word or sound inadvertently. Casual writers frequently misuse idioms. A careful reading, however, can often help to identify these issues before they are published. Before submission or publication, read the piece aloud slowly and pronounce every word. Do this a few times and make any necessary corrections, then read it to a family member or friend and ask if any part needs clarification. If he or she would like to proofread the piece by reading it in print, share it after you've read it aloud.

ReviewEdit

Which of these sentences sounds the best?
A: Our program is community-based, so residents can actively direct the program.
B: Our program is community-based, so the community can actively direct the program.
C: Our program is community-activated, so the community can actively direct the program.
D: Our community is program-based, so the community can actively direct the program.
Answer: A. Repetition of certain words and phrases is fine, but using the same word repetitively sounds odd, and readers may assume your vocabulary is limited or that you are using buzzwords to generate interest.


Which of these sentences sounds the best?
A: The President’s opponents used a proposed parliamentary procedure to postpone the partisan vote.
B: The President's foes used a proposed motion to delay the vote.
C: The President's political opponents used a proposed parliamentary procedure to postpone the partisan vote.
D: The President's political opponents used a parliamentary procedure, which was planned and prepared, to postpone the partisan vote.
Answer: B. Again, alliteration works well in certain circumstances, but when its use is inadvertent, it sounds awkward even when it is not read aloud. Rather than relying on a thesaurus, use simpler words that contain fewer syllables to avoid this kind of awkward alliteration.


NotesEdit

  1. Bryan, Imperialism, 338–339.

Inclusiveness · Succinctness