Less is More

 

I’m reading: The Elements of Style by William Strunk.
 
 It’s an easy read, assigned by my professor as a tool for upcoming writing assignments.
There are a lot of rules to writing.  I break most of them.
 
 
  

 

 

  Rule #17     Omit needless words.

 
Vigorous writing is concise.

 A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.

 This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.                                                                              William Strunk, Jr. (1869–1946).  

 

 

Omit needless words?  I continue to struggle with that rule…

and a few others.

I’m told to avoid clichés.  Period.

Avoid clichés? 

Just know that

Less

really is

more.

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About tuesday2

My husband tells me I talk too much. I tell him that I have a lot to say. Here’s the solution… Welcome to my blog!
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9 Responses to Less is More

  1. oh says:

    It’s a nice little book to have on the shelf and the illustrated one (as picture in your entry) makes it a bit more fun and less didactic. I’ve resorted it to it on the rare occasion as a reference and am glad to have it, but yeah, it’s a bit contricting. Unless writing academically. You’re right – less is more!

    • tuesday2 says:

      Yes, it is a fun book on writing. 😀

      My husband and I debate often about writing and the style of the writer…

      He is a former (forever) journalist for the local newspaper.

      As a first grade teacher, I constantly critique his use/misuse of uppercase letters, spacing and punctuation! 😀

      Apparently, I live in a glass house and should really bite my tongue.

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  3. reenie says:

    hahahh I laughed out loud at this ~ reminded me of the movie Amadeus (Motzart) Where the King tells him his music had too many notes……. I agree a writer shouldn’t ramble – everything should point in some way to topic – but writing is really an objective thing- Emily Dickenson used mis-spellings on purpose, she put amazing and totally out there things in her poems and worked them together and many were skeptical of her writing……. Do what you feel is right Shelley – rules are sometimes made to be broken LOL 😉 love you – keep it up (BTW I think you write wonderfully!)

  4. Renee says:

    That is by far the best style book in the universe. I love it!

    • tuesday2 says:

      It is Renee! Easy to read…

      I had to purchase it for a class I’m taking at EC this semester; I know it was worth the price. And them some!

      I respect your writing = I am taking your thumbs-up as the sign of a useful resource!

      • Renee says:

        It improved my writing a lot. I learned a lot from it.

        It’s OK to break the rules, but it’s important to know them before you break them because otherwise, your writing is just bad rather than clever.

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