Writing Tip: The Horn and Hardart Rule

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Doug Shaw had a great post on HR Examiner back in November 2013. In, “Where is the Soul?” he contrasts a sample of gobbledygook in a marketing email with a note he got from his father. Then he says this:

“What a sharply gentle, wonderful contrast to the hyper convoluted management mumbo jumbo that had so recently hurt my eyes and soul. That folks is how you inspire, move and motivate people, not through buzzwords and other corporate flim flam, but through simple love and sincerity.”

You don’t overwhelm your loved ones with flowery language and mind-numbing jargon. Don’t do it to your readers.

Take as your motto the slogan penned for the old Horn and Hardart restaurants by advertising legend Ed McCabe.

“It may not be fancy, but it’s good.”

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Doug Shaw   |   09 Jan 2014   |   Reply

Hi Wally – thanks for picking up on this piece I wrote for HRExaminer. They set a high standard over there and I was nervous when I submitted the piece, and very pleased to see it get published. I appreciate you picking up on it and I like the Horn and Hardart reference too.

Cheers – Doug

Lisa   |   12 Jan 2014   |   Reply

Hi, I just wanted to correct you that Ed selected the ‘It’s Not Fancy But It’s Good’ slogan however he didn’t come up with it in the first place. He was at a dilapidated Horn & Hardart on a business meeting when he overheard a southern woman say a variation of it ‘It’s Not Fancy But It Sure Is Good.’

Wally   |   12 Jan 2014   |   Reply

Thanks, Lisa. That’s not only a helpful correction, but a good story, too.