Friday, September 6, 2013

A thought about writing

From Wilson Follett:

Wherever we can make twenty-five words do the work of fifty, we halve the area in which looseness and disorganization can flourish, and by reducing the span of attention required we increase the force of the thought. To make our words count for as much as possible is surely the simplest as well as the hardest secret of style. Its difficulty consists in the ceaseless pursuit of the thousand ways of rectifying our mistakes, eliminating our inaccuracies, and replacing our falsities — in a word, editing our prose.

Modern American Usage (1966)
I like that near-rhyme: “the force of the thought.”

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