Sunday, April 29, 2007

On Writing Well. Significant Sentences.

Significant Sentences: On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction.
William Zinsser
Second Edition.
New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1980.

"Jargon is swamping the language." p. viii.

"Much of what is written in everyday American life is cold, pompous and impenetrable." p. viii.

"Good writing has an aliveness that keeps the reader reading from one paragraph to the next." p. 5.

"Clutter is the disease of American writing...a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon." p. 7.

"Our national tendency is to inflate and thereby sound important." p. 7.

"...every long word that could be a short word, every adverb which carries the same meaning that is already in the verb, every passive construction that leaves the reader unsure of who is doing what...." p. 7.

"[The reader] is a person with an attention span of about twenty seconds...assailed on every side by forces competing for his time by newspapers and magazines, by television and radio and stereo, by his wife and children and pets, by his house and yard and all the gadgets that he has bought to keep them spruce, and by that most potent of competitors, sleep." p. 9.

"Good writing doesn't come naturally." p. 12.

"A clear sentence is no accident." p. 13.

To be continued.

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