The Economist this week held a 60-minute webinar on the topic of its own writing style. Three editors emphasized the power of simplicity: “old, short words” work best, they agreed. They emphasized that clarity and brevity always reveal truth.

Launched in 1843, The Economist now employs a substantial number of Americans. This has pressured the copy desk, which must decide how many “Americanisms” are acceptable. Example: is it an elevator or a lift? For almost two centuries, it has been the latter.

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