Tag Archives: Miles Davis

What Miles Davis Teaches About Legal Writing

Recently I was listening to the Miles Davis Podcast and I heard an interview with Marcus Miller, a musician/composer who collaborated with Miles on several tracks in the 1980’s. One thing that Miller mentioned actually got me thinking about persuasive writing.

Miller said that Miles was, “always searching for the right note.” He remembered that Miles didn’t “play them all,” rather he searched for the note that fit best. That’s the approach we must take with words.

We’ve got to spend time evaluating each of our words and make an effort to select the best. That may mean cracking open a thesaurus (remember what that is?) or searching a  web-based reference tool. Your technological preference notwithstanding, the point is that we must devote time to finding more vibrant verbs, gnarly nouns, and awesome adjectives. Be like Miles and resist the temptation to play ’em all– instead, take the time to search for the word that fits best.

I hope these words help you stay smart, safe and spirited.