Susie Dent is an etymologist and a lexicographer. If you don’t know what either of those words mean, suffice to say she really loves words.
She spends part of her time sitting with a dictionary on the set of Channel 4’s game show Countdown checking contestants’ answers. She spends the rest of her time studying the mysteries of the English language.
“As somebody who’s dedicated her life to helping people and [herself] understand the mysteries of the English language, I heartily endorse life-long curiosity. But, the digital world has caused an evolution in the use of language that’s really unprecedented in its speed and its depth. So I think all of us and everyone in this room needs to embrace an alternative thought: never stop unlearning.”
With that thought, she kicked off her talk at Promax Europe 2019 in Amsterdam, offering 10 commandments—with examples—for writing messages that work in today’s tricky and cluttered digital world.
First, be disarmingly honest. Next, be better than the products. Third, be clubbable.
To learn what that means and more, you’ve got to listen:
[Images of Susie Dent speaking at Promax Europe 2019 by Trevor Traynor/Memoryscape]
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