Wednesday, September 26, 2007

How to improve writing (no. 15 in a series)

From a sign in a Cracker Barrel parking lot (Elaine insisted that I see the inside of a Cracker Barrel):

Lock your car and remove your valuables.
If one wanted to follow this advice in earnest, it would be necessary to revise, like so:
Lock your car. Then unlock your car, remove your valuables, and lock your car again.
But there's a better way:
Remove your valuables and lock your car.
The moral of the story: think about sequence. Why these elements in this order?

This post is no. 15 in a very occasional series, "How to improve writing," dedicated to improving stray bits of published prose.
All "How to improve writing" posts (via Pinboard)

comments: 0