Who’s really reading your writing?
At the start of their book ‘Nudge’, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein make a distinction between ‘Econs’ and ‘Humans’.
Econs, they say, make decisions rationally, never letting their emotions get in the way. However complicated a decision, they’ll always think it through logically and end up making the perfect call (unlike Humans).
That distinction’s based on economic decision-making. But there’s a parallel in communication.
You’d need a PhD to work out what most businesses are trying to say on their ‘about us’ pages.
They’re writing for Econs. Omniscient beings who understand not only what the words say, but also what all the committees said in the meetings that led to those words.
Omniscient, mythical beings, I should say.
Econs don’t exist. Even Richard Thaler isn’t one, and he’s won the Nobel Prize.
When we write, it’s fallible, irrational, busy, angry, mind-on-something-else humans at the other end. And they’ll sooner play Candy Crush than read something complicated and boring.