By: Syed Shiraz

Ignore the headline; I am not a linguist to be giving you ‘writing tips’. It’s just that I couldn’t find a more apt title. Anyway, seven years ago, when I took up writing as a full-time career, most of the writers around were truly world-class. In fact, they were so good that if it was not for their sublime writing, I would have had made my foray in automotive writing much, much earlier. Until then, I used to think that only they can do it! Of course, mediocre writers (like the gent who, despite spending more than an eternity in this field, still claims that the BMW Z4 has a V6 engine) did exist back then too, but were few and far between. The situation has reversed now.

But, since I want to keep this snippet light-hearted, I’ll just mention the six phrases and terms that I feel every automotive journalist and blogger should avoid more religiously than Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s followers defy logic. Feel free to add more in the comments section.

1) Orgasmic, eargasmic, bikeporn, etc. (add more derivatives and hit shift+del) 

understand that you have not been able to make your carnal fantasies come true (might not ever) but a perennial lack of Cupid’s blessings should not mean that you impose your myopic visualization on your readers too.

2) Sell a kidney

I see this more frequently than memes on Trump, and get to hear it even more than the chants of achche din. See, unlike the fake promises of politicians, the number of kidneys that most of us have is two. So if you sold one for an iPhone, and then the other for any other gadget/fetish, you’ve exhausted your natural quota. You should then be on dialysis, not on WordPress. Unless you’re Wolverine, which clearly you aren’t.

3) Rob a bank

You don’t have the balls to do it, period. You never will. So don’t get too hyper about hyperbole.

4) Front fascia, side profile, rear taillights, front headlights, etc.

It’s quite apparent that you never were your English teacher’s favourite. But, thanks to the Internet, and your overconfidence, you became a “writer”. Look up the word “redundancy”. But only after you’ve devoted a minimum of hundred hours to Wren & Martin. No, you can’t meet them; I’m referring to the book.

5) Power is sent to the rear wheel(s)

It’s absolutely okay if you’re writing about the BMW 530d M Sport, but you just shouldn’t use the phrase while describing a motorcycle. Because they still have to invent an FWD (Front Wheel Drive) motorcycle. I pray the day never comes. And if there is such a mule somewhere, I don’t want to know about it. No, the Yamaha WR450F 2-Trac is a two-wheel-drive motorcycle.

6) Engine is mated to the gearbox.

See point number one. Also, you might want to consult a shrink if you’re visualizing an X-rated version of The Transformers.

Also Read: Motorcycling Etiquette: An Insight For Dummies – What NOT to Do!

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  1. Syed sir, i am glad a journalist wrote something about writing because there are many out there who are striving to become one, like me. But lack of writing skills is the main thing coming their way. Please share some more tips about writing.
    I ll be very thankful..

    • Thanks Anuj. You’ll find many writing tips on the Internet from people who are much, much learned than I am. But if I had to give you one, then this would be it:
      “Don’t write to impress others. Just write whatever you FEEL about the subject, and how you would tell someone the same in person.”
      Keep this point in mind, and start writing! All the best 🙂


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