Words put feelings in you.
You may think you feel nothing right now, but if I had written one of the following…
- The written word wends itself into the emotional world of even the most stoic reader (or)
- Writing is received by its recipient not only as data to be decoded, but as an emotional instigator determining her attitude toward the text (or)
- Words have an emotional valence
…you would feel something different. Differently toward me and the paragraphs that follow.
Tone tells you about a writer’s attitude, a legal team’s worries, a publication’s bent. Tone drives syntax and structure. It figures in what we like or hate because it is a proxy for personality.
Kneading the analogy: Pieces of writing—emails, blog posts, resumes, books, the content on a web app—are like little people. We raise and then push them into the world, where they interact with real people. They make real people happy, sad, angry, bored, excited or stressed out.
There’s a difference between well-written sentences that “purvey the requisite information” and those that get the point across. That difference is relatability.
I would trade a bookful of perfectly constructed sentences for a few with well-defined personalities.