Friday, November 6, 2009

The Word Doctor—Be Concise

As my college professor ingrained in me, there is no such thing as good writing—only good re-writing. Almost always, a sentence can be improved by shortening it in the editing process. For example:

Before: It is always the case that by the end of the day we aren't finished with the projects that were assigned to us.
After: We're never done by the end of the day.

It takes more time to write concisely, so it can easily be mistaken as an effortless task. But don't let brevity fool you. To paraphrase Mark Twain, If I had more time, I would have made it shorter.

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