When in doubt cut it out.

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"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."
- E.B. White's seventeenth rule in The Elements of Style

Krug includes the quote above in Chapter 5. As I have said before, and many people may know this about me, I have placed a strict emphasis on cutting out my amount of wordiness. The war was started by Kim Pennesi in STW, continued by Dr. Jerz in EL 150, and continued by many of my professors along the way. As Krug points out, we all think we're writing without unecessary words but when we really stop and think about it, we could cut out things that don't need to be there. This will make our writing more easy to understand and make communication more clear.

Krug stated that "happy talk must die" and "instructions" must die. By cutting out these needless words, no matter how "cute" or "creative" we think they are, the final product of a meaningful message becomes more clear. This is not to mention the amount of space that will be freed up where we can put more important things.


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I'm a big proponent of "more is better" when it comes to blog entries. Some of them are longer than papers I've written for Dr Jerz. But blogs are opinion. People seeking information do not want to read that kind of writing. We've had it engrained in our minds from high school that more detail is better (strange that they called these classes "college prep" when college wants the opposite). The wordiness should stay on livejournal where it belongs. A website visitor is doing research. Think of how tedious it is to read through articles to find quotes for your research paper. Don't let the reader get burnt out and quit.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy published on October 20, 2008 11:12 AM.

Things to think about not thinking was the previous entry in this blog.

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