Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little

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Overview

“A work of pop linguistics . . . [that] synthesizes . . . grammar, branding, cognitive science and Web theory . . . with intelligence and friendly wit.”—New York Times
Welcome to the age of the incredible shrinking message. Your guide to this new landscape, Christopher Johnson reveals the once-secret knowledge of poets, copywriters, brand namers, political speechwriters, and other professional verbal miniaturists. Each chapter discusses one tool that helps short messages grab attention, communicate instantly, ...
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Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little

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Overview

“A work of pop linguistics . . . [that] synthesizes . . . grammar, branding, cognitive science and Web theory . . . with intelligence and friendly wit.”—New York Times
Welcome to the age of the incredible shrinking message. Your guide to this new landscape, Christopher Johnson reveals the once-secret knowledge of poets, copywriters, brand namers, political speechwriters, and other professional verbal miniaturists. Each chapter discusses one tool that helps short messages grab attention, communicate instantly, stick in the mind, and roll off the tongue. Piled high with examples from corporate slogans to movie titles to product names, Microstyle shows readers how to say the most with the least, while offering a lively romp through the historic transformation of mass media into the media of the personal.
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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“With advice for writing compelling blogs, pitches, ads, slogans, and social-media postings, Johnson’s sophisticated, richly referenced, and example-filled microstyle guide is distinctive, instructive, enjoyable, and inspiring.”
The Writer
“Makes accessible a number of ideas that . . . most of us need to learn if we are going to thrive as writers in the 21st century.”
Dwight Garner
Christopher Johnson's lively…work of pop linguistics…synthesizes a wide range of current thinking from recent books about grammar, branding, cognitive science and Web theory…with intelligence and friendly wit.
—The New York Times
Evelyn Small
Chock full of examples and well-written insights, Microstyle comes from a linguist who is interested in the art and the science of modern language.
—The Washington Post
New York Times
Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little, is a work of pop linguistics… it synthesizes a wide range of current thinking from recent books about grammar, branding, cognitive science and Web theory. But it does so with intelligence and friendly wit. Mr. Johnson’s point is that words are for wooing, in ways both personal and professional, and his own prose is sociable enough to underscore that point and spritz it with a bit of sophisticated perfume. His book is here, like a dating guide, to whisper: You too can woo.— Dwight Garner
Library Journal
For a book on writing short, this is surprisingly long. Business and recreational readers seeking the "Top Ten Ways To Tweet Better" will get impatient with the in-depth analysis of iambs and trochees, though independent verbal branding consultant Johnson does explain why The Bundt Stops Here is an awkward name for a cake shop and why people prefer ordering Coke to Coca-Cola. This "field guide to everyday verbal ingenuity," in Johnson's words, contains many nuggets of good information—that is, for readers with the linguistic interest and background to sort through them. VERDICT With many lively statements and humorous examples mixed in among discussions of metonymy and syntactic iconicity, this book would work well in academic settings. Motivated readers looking for information on naming a product or business or creating a slogan will find good information here. Those seeking simple rules for "writing little" will be weighed down.—Maggie Knapp Trinity Valley Sch. Lib., Fort Worth, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393341812
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/23/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 401,452
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Johnson is a blogger and branding consultant, with a PhD in linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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Customer Reviews

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