Sounds Good On Paper – Roger Horberry

How many emails, presentations or documents have you endured that have too many words, too little meaning and are too easy to ignore? My bet is too many. (I think I may have used an anaphora there.)


Roger’s book demonstrates how to use figures of speech to add a bit of emotional sparkle to what-ever you’re writing and I for one would be thankful if more people adopted at least a bit of this. Even in the creative industry you have to wade through enough business writing that you really notice and appreciate it when someone brings it to life with a bit of a story.

In uncovering the figures of speech we are all familiar with, and some we’re probably not, Roger liberally uses great literary and historical examples. It’s surprising just how common and accepted figures of speech are without any understanding of context. Anyway, once you’ve read this, you’ll start seeing them everywhere. You’ll probably have used a load in your writing before without even knowing what they were, or perhaps that’s just my experience.

You might come away from this book not able to remember what all the figures are called, because there are many, but you can’t fail to see that these creative turns of speech have a meaning greater than the sum of their words.

Roger’s final plea is that better writing starts with better listening and reading. The more high quality raw material you expose yourself to, the greater your chances of eloquence. Having endured an education in English language that was somewhat lacking in the education part, and not having an English literature education at all, I can only assume any writing skill I have has seeped into me through exposure.

Concision is something I admire in others writing, so I‘ll end the review here and suggest that if you write anything for others to read then this book is worth occupying the space next to your thesaurus. I just wish I could think of a nice figure to finish it off…

Title | Sounds Good On Paper – How to bring business language to life
Author | Roger Horberry
Publisher | A & C Black Publishers Ltd
Publish Date | 2010
ISBN | 978-1-4081-2231-0

Reviewer | Steven Bennett-Day

Buy from Amazon UK: Sounds Good on Paper: How to Bring Business Language to Life

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