Thursday, July 23, 2015

Pinker on writing to your audience

Every audience is spread out along a bell curve of sophistication, and inevitably we’ll bore a few at the top while baffling a few at the bottom; the only question is how many there will be of each. . . . The key is to assume that your readers are as intelligent and sophisticated as you are, but that they happen not to know something you know.
Steven Pinker, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (New York: Viking, 2014), ch. 3

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