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#185 Wackadoodle English
Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Philadelphia, PA
Tuesday, April 11, 2023



#185Blog Post   Tuesday, 11 April 2023


Postedby Denny Hatch


Annie Reneau’s Wackadoodle

New Way to Write English.



"This viral tool could be a game-changer for some."
  —Annie Reneau, 03.27.23

Above is a sample ofBionic Text—a bizzarro new way of presenting the English language that issupposed to enable mentally challenged readers suffering from Dyslexia and/or ADHD to understand whatthey are reading. 


Note:Later in this post I’ll supply the link to the “free text converter”that you can use to change any text into Annie Reneau's "game-changer."A YouTube Clip from the company also shows possibilities for howthe font can be adjusted to individual preferences, making more or less of theinitial letters bolded of the 3.5% of the population who suffer from ADHD orthe 20% that allegedly has dyslexia.


A Personal Opinion

Theillustration of Bionic Text above is like nothing I have ever seen in my 87years. It seems to me if a mentally challenged reader gets hooked on thisfringe variation of oddball writing the English language, it could kill the comprehension of normal prose. Ergo: no ability to make sense of books, newspapers,  magazines, e-mails, memos, printed instructions or the Internet.

 A Famous Victim of Dyslexia

In World War II, my very first boyhood hero was thedyslexic General George S. Patton, Jr., 1885-1945. Patton’s dyslexia was so severe hewas forced to repeat his first year at West Point. With horrendous difficulty he taught himself to read andwrite orders in traditional English. In his dash through France Patton’sThirdArmy liberated 82,000 square miles, 1,500 cities and towns and 12,000 inhabitedplaces. His army killed and wounded a half-million enemy soldiers and captured 956,000 prisoners.Praise God he was not dependent on Annie Reneau’s loopy Bionic Text.It would have rendered him totally unable to read or write normal communications. He never would have been given command of Third Army.The War in Europe would have been prolonged for months with hundreds of thousands more American troops killed and wounded.  


Below are 10 basic rules for creating easy-to-read English Language Text in Print or Online.


1.   Three Basic Couplets

“Short Words! Short Sentences!Short Paragraphs!" —Andrew J. Byrne


 2.   Optimal Sentence Length (Numberof Words)

Taped to every desk lamp Scott Huchinherited for 30 years was this faded newspaper clipping:


Text of the above clipping.

Tests have shown that a sentence of eightwords is very easy to read; of 11 words, easy; of 14 words, fairly easy; of 17words, standard; of 21 words, fairly difficult; of 25 words, difficult; of 29or more words, very difficult; so this sentence with 54 words, counting numbers,is ranked impossible.


 Try to Make Sense of This 132-word Sentence
It is true that the strategic bombingsurveys published by the Allies, together with the records of the FederalGerman Statistics Office and other official sources, who that the Royal AirForce alone dropped a million tons of bombs on enemy territory; it is true thatof the 131 towns and cities attacked, some only one and some repeatedly, manywere almost entirely flattened, that about 600,000 German civilians fell victimto air raids, and that three and a half million homes were destroyed, while atthe end of the war seven and a half million people were left homeless, and therewere 31.1 cubic meters of rubble for every person in Cologne and 42.8 cubicmeters for every inhabitant of Dresden but we do not grasp what it all actuallymeant.

—W.G. Sebald, On the NaturalHistory of Destruction (Word Count: 132)


(A Personal Aside): When self-editingif I come across a sentence that seems too long, I do a word count. If it’s 29words or longer, I break it into separate sentences.



3.  OnlineReadability: Optimal Line Length (# of characters).
“The optimal line length for yourbody text is considered to be 50-60 characters per line, includingspaces (“Typographie”, E. Ruder). Other sources suggest that up to 75characters is acceptable.
— Christian Holst, BaymardInstitute


4.   Serif vs. San Serif

Experts urgethe use of serif type (e.g., Times, Garamond) for copyin printed material and sans serif  (e.g. Verdana,Helvetica) in digital communications.


5. Avoid Gray walls of type!” 
          —David Ogilvy


"Nothing is less inviting than a solid page of gray text with nothing tobreak it up or catch the eye."  —EdElliott


6. Break the Tedium of Type with Crossheads/Mini Headlines

 “After two or three inches of copy, insertyour first mini headline [crosshead], and thereafter pepper them throughout.They keep the reader marching forward.”—DavidOgilvy


“An ingenious sequence of boldlydisplayed mini headlines can deliver the substance of your entire pitch to glancerswho are too lazy to wade through the text.” —David Ogilvy


7. Headlines, Teasers and Email Subject Lines

“The headline selects thereader.” 
—Axel Andersson
Is it obvious from the headline whoshould read what you have to say?


 “On the average, five times as many peopleread the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline,you have spent eighty cents out of your advertising dollar.” 
—David Ogilvy


 “The headline on your ad—and the teaser on yourdirect mail envelope—and the subject line of your email—are the hot pants onthe hooker.” 
—Bill Jayme


“The writer of this chapter spendsfar more time on headlines than on writing. He often spends hours on a singleheadline. Often scores of headlines are discarded before the right one isselected."
—Claude Hopkins


8.   Avoid “Blind” Headlines.

"Some headlines are 'blind.' They don't say what the product is, orwhat it will do for you. They are about 20 percent below average inrecall."
—David Ogilvy


“Your headline should telegraph whatyou want to say—in simple language. Readers do not stop to decipher themeanings of obscure headlines.” 
—David Ogilvy


9. TypeMust Be Readable

 “Type smaller than 9-point is difficult formost people to read.” 


 10.  Avoid Busy Backgrounds

“Never set your copy in white type on a blackbackground and never set it over a gray or colored tint. The old school of artdirectors believed that these devices forced people to read the copy; we nowknow that they make reading physically impossible.”
—David Ogilvy


The Most Unbelievable Newspaper Ad Ever Published

• It was a single full-page black-and-whitenewspaper broadsheet advertisement published in The New York Times October19, 1948.

• With 6450words jammed onto the page, it was the longest ad in the history of The NewYork Times (or any newspaper ever). The record still stands.


• Not asingle photograph, drawing, table, chart or graph was used anywhere to break upthe monotony of black-and-white words, words, words.


• The offer:a free book from the brokerage company Merrill Lynch.


 It generated over 20,000 requests for the freebook. Over the life of this ad in myriad newspapers, it generated 3 million requests and brought in a ton of new investors to Merrill Lynch.

 • Here's a link to the Denny Hatch blog post that analyzes this amazing newspaper ad:


To Follow Up on Annie Reneau’s Bionic Text
Dealingwith Dyslexia/ADHD, Here’s the Link.



 To Turn Normal EnglishProse into Bionic Text,
Here’s the Link to the Free Text Converter




And Finally… Annie Reneau’s CV



Takeaway to Consider - Meet Bo Sacks



Personal Note: A perpetual delightfor me are the weekly emails of “Media Intelligence™ Heard on the Web’’ by Bo (Bob) Sacks.Bo is the ultimate Media Maven who reads everything in the fields of marketing,advertising, PR and communications and brings the best of the best — news stories, articles,provocative opinions, breakthroughs, screw-ups and glorious gossip — to myinbox during the week via  “America’sOldest e-newsletter est. 1993.”

Bo’s wonderfully quirkyManifesto:


"The Industry that Vents Together Stays Together."  


Responses to all Articles and Bo-Rants are greatly encouraged  and maybe included in " BoSacks Readers Speak Out" 

Allnews items and the various opinions expressed in this newsletter are notnecessarily the opinion of, nor in agreement with the opinions of BoSacks. Theyare just interesting thoughts and other opinions that BoSacks thinks you shouldknow about. After all, as the Japanese proverb goes: "If you believe everythingyou read, perhaps you better not read."


It was a Bo Sacks’ e-newslettertwo weeks ago that introduced me to Annie Reneau.  I urge you to write Bo Sacks and get his freee-newsletter. Whether you agree or disagree, Bo is a delicious diversion —a fontof information and valuable ideas.





Word Count: 1436




Barnes & Noble



At age 15, Denny Hatch—as a lowly apprentice—wrote his first news release for a Connecticut summer theater. To his astonishment it ran verbatim in The Middletown Press.He was instantly hooked on writing. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army (1958-60), Denny had nine jobs in his first 12 years in business. He was fired from five of them and went on to save two businesses and start three others. One of his businesses—WHO’S MAILING WHAT! newsletterand archive service founded in 1984—revolutionized the science of how to measure the success of competitors’ direct mail. In the past 55 yearshe has been a book club director, magazine publisher, advertising copywriter/designer, editor, journalist and marketing consultant. He is the author of four published novels and seven books on business and marketing.


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Name: Denny Hatch
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Dateline: Philadelphia, PA United States
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