TO SAY IT MORE SIMPLY (ON WRITING)

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Writing for machine translation

Writing for machine translation involves considering the capabilities and limitations of automated translation systems. Here are some guidelines to help create content that is more suitable for machine translation: Remember that while these guidelines can enhance the performance of machine translation, they do not replace the need for professional human translators, especially for critical or…

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Why Clear & Simple Media?

After I was introduced at a recent conference, I was asked the two questions that people ask most frequently when they first hear about what we are doing. Why Clear and Simple Media? Why English? The WHY for Clear and Simple Media grows out of a theological conviction – specifically our confidence in the Bible….

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Linguistically Simple, Theologically Clear, Biblically Faithful

Linguistically Simple, Theologically Clear, and Biblically Faithful. These three-word sets give some sense of who we are and what we hope to accomplish in our writing. But they also provide an internal reminder, a collection of checkpoints for us as we write. None are redundant. Linguistically Simple shapes Theologically Clear on one side and Biblically…

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Death by Squiggle

Today, I killed 6 metaphors, 3 allusions, 9 five-syllable words, 15 adjectives or adverbs, 3 gerunds, and 2 verbal nouns. They now lay smudged in scarlet ink on the pale page. I recall imagining that being a writer would be a mysterious and almost magical occupation. Making up stories. Playing with words. Putting pen to…

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When Simple Is Complicated

Write in simple English. Sounds easy enough. But doing it well is harder than it sounds. Here’s an example. What is the most complex word in the English language? By complex, I mean, what one English word has more varied meanings than any other? And if your guess has more than three letters, guess again….

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More helpful hints for writing in Simple English

While I have written before on the artsy science of writing in Simple English, I did not give a specific set of guidelines that a writer would find helpful. Here is my attempt to correct that oversight. Thirteen Helpful Hints (read GUIDELINES) for Writing with Simplicity and Clarity Write sentences that are brief and concise….

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Thomas Edison and “the failure phase”

One of the goals (and challenges) of the work we are doing is to produce writing that is accurate to the teaching of Scripture, and simple to read at the same time – targeting an audience of new English readers with little previous exposure to the Bible. That, it turns out, is much harder than…

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Adding a tool to the global English toolbox

For a number of years, I have been trying to find ways to write for a global English audience. My target has been people who are new English speakers/readers and people who have little or no previous exposure to the Bible. As I have stumbled along in the writing and rewriting process, I have come…

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Sometimes you just have to stop

Every year in Winnipeg, several dozen authors descend on the city for The International Writer’s Festival. For two weekends and the week between, they do workshops, public readings, and sessions in schools, bookstores, coffee shops, and performance venues all about town. (This year, the festival, for years now called Thin Air, is Sept 22 –…

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Why Must Paul Preach (Write) With Clarity?

“At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.” Colossians 4:4 How can Paul say he “ought” to speak…

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