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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Words of Wisdom, Garbl's Concise Writing Guide

Need some help convincing your boss or colleagues that clear, concise writing is good for your readers -- and your business? Check out the quotations at this website. Some examples:

Winston Churchill: "Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words when short are best of all."

Albert Einstein: "Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius--and a lot of courage--to move in the opposite direction."

Hippocrates: "The chief virtue that language can have is clearness, and nothing detracts from it so much as the use of unfamiliar words."

James J. Kilpatrick: "Use familiar words--words that your readers will understand, and not words they will have to look up. No advice is more elementary, and no advice is more difficult to accept. When we feel an impulse to use a marvelously exotic word, let us lie down until the impulse goes away."

C.S. Lewis: "Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something reallyinfinite."

George Orwell: "The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink."

Will Rogers: "I love words but I don't like strange ones. You don't understand them and they don't understand you. Old words is like old friends, you know 'em the minute you see 'em."

Mark Twain: "Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph."

William Butler Yeats: "Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people."

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