For a clear New Year: a musical style guide from the EU Commission. Yes, really.

31Dec10

If one of your New Year resolutions is to improve your writing style (are you reading this, clients? you know who you are) this musical style guide might help you.

It was produced by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Translation (DGT):

We are leading a campaign to encourage Commission officials to write more clearly. “Good news: clarity’s a-coming!”, by David Monkcom, is the Clear Writing campaign song. It summarizes the advice contained in our campaign booklet “How to write clearly” [pdf] and sets it to a traditional gospel melody. It’s sung here by the Hot Air Vocal Ensemble – a Brussels-based choir of which David is a member. For further information about the Clear Writing campaign e-mail: DGT-CLEAR-WRITING@ec.europa.eu .

I’m tickled pink that it’s the DG for Translation that felt driven to produce the booklet and the video. I’m grappling right now with an Italian text just like the ones they work with and it’s e-x-c-r-u-c-i-a-t-i-n-g.

We feel your pain, DGT!

I found this video through Writing Matters, a great blog by Leslie O’Flahavan and Marilynne Rudick that’s packed with writing tips, links, comments and opinion.



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