Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Midweek Writing Tips

We can recover from having been taught bogus writing rules, but it helps to know which they are. Here's a start from Geoffrey Pullum.

We can also say more with less. PR man and blogger Mickie Kennedy names 20 verbose phrases that can go away. (Hat tip to Laura DeGrazia on Facebook.) But I would argue he doesn't go far enough.

Here's his first paragraph:
I’ve always been a firm advocate for getting your point across in as few words as possible. Today’s readers are more pressed for time than ever before, and as it relates to PR, reporters are bombarded by pitches all day long, so the faster you can get to the point, the better.
A shorter version:
I've always believed in making your point in the fewest possible words. Today's readers have less time than ever, and reporters are bombarded by PR, so the quicker the pitch, the better.
If this doesn't come naturally to you with a little practice and self-surgery -- or even if it does! -- enroll in Tom Jones's writing class at Samford IGHR. You'll be amazed at what he can do with your supposedly well-trimmed passage.

Harold Henderson, "Midweek Writing Tips," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 12 September 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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