The email subject line had me quaking in my boots: Rewrite requested.
"Rewrite" means I was wrong.
"Rewrite" means "start over".
"Rewrite" means #epicfail.
I admit I hesitated a bit before opening the message. Nobody likes getting bad news, right? I took a few deep breaths and clicked.
Sweet fancy Moses! Turns out, what the client wanted was a shift from the second-person perspective to the third. Hardly the rewrite I'd envisioned! In fact, not really a rewrite at all, at least as far as old hacks like me are concerned.
Of course, the actual definitions of "rewrite" and "revise" are essentially the same. The problem is connotation.
Rewrite carries all kinds of baggage that its cousin, revision, does not. Revision travels lighter.
Regular readers of this blog know that I spend a lot of time and energy on word choice. Choosing the right word influences our audience and informs its response. The anecdote above is a great example of that.
As you communicate this week, give a little more thought to the words you choose to do it. Bring a little more attention to connotation. I bet you'll see better results.