Writing for the ear

I’ve always been a visual learner. In my life, this has always gone hand in hand with accusations of being a bad listener. Yep, it’s true. I need insane amounts of sleep and/or coffee for my mind to be graced with the virtue of undivided attention. The rare occurrence where I could see myself uttering cliché phrases like:

“I’m hanging on your every word”


“what purple dinosaur in the corner?

If you are anything like me (average attention span of ~2 nanoseconds) then you need as much help as you can get when it comes to listening. Not listening for appearance sake, I mean really listening.

Radio programs, podcasts, television news reports, etc. all attempt to write and speak in a way that will help the listeners understand the message. Take for example, a busy mother who is preparing dinner while the 5 o’clock news plays in the background. If the reporters are writing for the ear, the multi-tasking mother should have no problem understanding what the report is about …even though she is not receiving the visuals.

Courtesy of Mr.Media.com , we have a few sentences to compare. Can you tell which of these sentences is written “for the ear” and which sentence is not?

“This multi-lateral agreement, and its steady progress forward, is critical because it will  protect Americans who could otherwise be maimed or killed should they consume – knowingly or unknowingly – unapproved imported meats, unpasteurized dairy products, or dangerous unregulated alcoholic beverages.”


“We need to sign this agreement quickly to protect Americans from unregulated and dangerous meats, dairy products, and alcoholic beverages.”

Take a look at the following article, 5 Ways To Write For The Ear, Not For The Eye  for more tips.


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