Cut it out!

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Frank Schultz
Friday, August 30, 2013

News writers have been preached at for years to keep it clean, keep it clear, and keep it short. (“And don't use passive voice, and don't use parentheses,” my editor would say.)

The point is that if you distill that kettle of verbiage to its bare essentials, the result is clear and potent and does not leave your reader with a headache the morning after.

Of course, this is one of those goals that must be pursued while knowing that perfection is never to be reached, like the search for the Holy Grail. All have sinned, as the Bible says.

Journalism-writing experts might sometimes feel like prophets calling out in the wilderness as they consider the verbosity and dense jargon of, say, the legal profession or college professors. So it's nice to see an academic castigating his colleagues for messy writing. The writer calls for an end to needless adjectives and adverbs. Here it is. It's a short read.

Last updated: 11:55 am Friday, August 30, 2013

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