“You’re gonna come crawling back to the humanities,” said Mrs. Thomas, my 12th grade English teacher, as I headed off to get my engineering degree.
How did she know that years later, I’d take joy one evening in going through a draft of a marketing datasheet, and…
- Replacing passive voice with active
- Making sure bullet points follow parallelism
- Killing unimaginative verbs like leveraging, enabling, and allowing
- Removing first person
- Cutting up long sentences into shorter, clearer ones
- Ditching a comma splice
- Adjusting product names to comply with trademark guidelines
- Cutting redundancies like “new and emerging”
- Fixing hyphens: no in “frequently changing,” yes in “hands-free”
And enjoying it the whole time? Programming in English is something I enjoy doing. Mrs. Thomas knew it but it took me many years to figure it out for myself.