Sound advice

Magic words

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Use words which give a sense of someone really talking.

I keep banging on about how we should all try to write more like we speak, because it sounds sincere and natural. And that there are certain words that are bound to get in the way of that estimable mission. Words like ensure, which we write but never say (people protest that they do, but only if they’re being influenced by their writing. You’ve never said in a million years ‘Oh, by the way, darling, if you’re going to the shops later, can you ensure that you pick up a pint ...

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