In today’s culture there is a plethora of information vying for people’s attention so packing as much as possible into few characters is not only a goal but also a necessity. Although I was initially a bit skeptical of Johnson’s manifesto to writing small, I have come to truly appreciate his insight on the topic. The last line of his introduction sums up the purpose of the journey he takes his readers on perfectly, “ to let you observe words in the wild through a linguist’s eye.” Through taking apart tag lines that have worked, Johnson reveals the necessary ingredients for successfully writing in microstyle.
Johnson described the ins and outs of writing miniscule and outlined the integral parts needed to make ideas stick in just a few words. As I skimmed blogging communities, I looked for attention- grabbing headlines and micro-messages to put Johnson’s advice to the test. I flipped through pages of content – only articles with striking headlines received a second glance. I found one such headline on the Feministe blog and it read, “Birth Control: Kind of Like Pork Chops.” The title stood out because it seemed so preposterous that I couldn’t help but keep reading. The title incorporated an unfamiliar metaphor that beckoned me to read further and understand the unlikely comparison. It referred to a statement made by Catholic officials who compared students seeking birth control coverage from their Catholic Universities’ medical insurance to persons expecting pork from a Jewish barbeque. Though the article is definitely slanted in favor of women’s reproductive rights, its metaphorical title is sure to grab readers from across the spectrum.
In my blog I hope that I can create innovative taglines and titles because I realize how appealing they are to the audience. Before reading Microstyle, I realized that titles should be inviting but I didn’t realize how impactful a strong one-liner could be. I hope to utilize all of these mechanisms in some capacity in my own blog writing. As for the metaphorical aspect, I am currently working on a post and am hoping to employ this technique as I create titles and even within the posts themselves. As many of Johnson’s rules were not completely intuitive for me, I hope to use Microstyle to challenge myself to find ways to increasingly engage an audience and better my creative writing style.