Weekend Words: To Edit or Not to Edit

How do you edit your writing? Do you let it sit overnight? Read it aloud? Sometimes, I print out a composition since my eyes tend to see things on paper they don’t see on a screen.

James Kilpatrick’s current syndicated column titled Redundancy Good, Redundancy Bad asks when words should be struck, or kept for cadence or clarity. Kilpatrick cites Strunk & White’s rule to “Omit needless words” which comes from my favorite writers’ reference book.

My personal beef is business emails. In my corporate days, I noticed they were often the wordiest writing I encountered. How annoying on a busy day at the office to plod through flabby sentences! When you separate the chaff from the wheat, the meaning is stronger.

3 Comments

  • Anonymous
    June 22, 2008 - 2:35 pm | Permalink

    He sites it or he cites it?

  • Susan from Sisters, Oregon
    June 22, 2008 - 6:10 pm | Permalink

    You’re right – thanks!

  • Buffy
    June 23, 2008 - 6:47 am | Permalink

    “Now that is the way to write–peppery and to the point. Mush-and-milk journalism gives me the fan-tods.” Mark Twain

    Your post reminded me of Twain’s words.

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