Stop That Hissing!

Have you ever had to sit through a speech where the speaker whistled and hissed through every other word?

That hissing sound at the end of every sentence – you hear it all the time.

It’s all too common in Southern California, where it’s practically become a feature of the local dialect. It can be painful to listen to. This is just my opinion, but to me, that hissing sibilant sounds weak!

Don’t do that to your readers.

If you want to be kind to your reader, think about how your words will sound. Try to keep the letter –s off the end. I know, it isn’t easy when it’s one of the most frequently occurring letters in the alphabet. Here are three suggestions:

  • If you can choose between a singular and a plural noun, go for the singular.
  • Never, ever alliterate two words that both start with the letter S.
  • Try re-arranging the order of your words, so that the sentence doesn’t end with an S sound.

That last tip is my favorite, because it gives you so much flexibility and freedom. When people see how many different ways they can combine and mix their word order, they freak out with joy.

Variety is awesome. That’s why I made variety one of the central themes of the Crazy Smart Wordshop – my upcoming writing seminar for business leaders! Stay tuned.

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