Why we are blind to our own typos
Huh? (Another lesson in how not to write a brief.)

Johnny Cash demonstrates powerful writing

Would you like your writing to be as powerful as Johnny Cash’s lyrics? Here is a good place to start: stick with short words. As an example, here are the lyrics to Folsom Prison Blues.  Most words are just one syllable. Just one three-syllable word.

I hear the train a comin’
(1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2)

It’s rolling round the bend
(1, 2, 1, 1, 1)

And I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don't know when,
(1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1)

I’m stuck in Folsom prison, and time keeps draggin’ on
(1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1)

But that train keeps a rollin’ on down to San Antone...
(1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2)

When I was just a baby my mama told me. Son,
(1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1)

Always be a good boy, don't ever play with guns.
(2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1)

But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die
(1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2. 1, 1, 1, 1, 1)

When I hear that whistle blowing, I hang my head and cry...
(1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1)

I bet there’s rich folks eating in a fancy dining car
(1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1)

They’re probably drinkin’ coffee and smoking big cigars.
(1, 3, 2, 2, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2)

Well I know I had it coming, I know I can’t be free
(1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1)

But those people keep a movin’
(1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2)

And that’s what tortures me...
(1, 1, 1, 2, 1)

Well if they freed me from this prison,
(1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2)

If that railroad train was mine
(1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1)

I bet I’d move it on a little farther down the line
(1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1)

Far from Folsom prison, that’s where I want to stay
(1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1)

And I’d let that lonesome whistle blow my blues away....
(1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2)

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