Technical tip Tuesday

The fashion crimes people make“. You read it and it jars…but why?

A pitfall that non-native speakers in particular have to be careful to avoid, this headline contains an error of collocation. In English, “crime” collocates with “commit”, not with “make”. That is, people don’t “make” crimes, they “commit” them.

Aside from the fact that getting your text right enhances positive perceptions of your work or your brand, choosing correct collocates also has consequences for communication effectiveness.

In short, it means text that’s more easily readable – text that doesn’t make your audience disengage while they notice that something’s awry and try to figure out what it is. And that’s worth aiming for.

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