Monday, April 30, 2007

On Writing Well. Zinsser. Significant Sentences. Continued.

Significant Sentences: On Writing Well. William Zinsser. Continued.

"Consider all the prepositions that are routinely draped onto verbs that don't need any help: head up; free up; face up to; we no longer head committees, we head them up; we don't face problems any more; we face up to them when we can free up a few minutes." p. 14.

"Take the adjective 'personal,' as in 'personal friend of mine,' 'his personal feeling,' or 'her personal physician'...typical of the word that can be eliminated nine times out of ten." p. 14.

"Clutter is the ponderous euphemism that turns a slum into a 'depressed socioeconomic area,' a salesman into a 'marketing representative,' a dumb kid into an 'underachiever' and garbage collector into 'waste disposal personnel.' " p. 16.

"Clutter from inter-office memos: 'The trend to mosaic communication is reducing the meaningfulness of concern about whether or not demographic segments differ in their tolerance of periodicity.' " p. 16.

"Clutter from the computer world: 'We are offering functional digital programming options that have built-in parallel reciprocal capabilities with compatible third-generation contingencies and hardware.' " p. 16.

"Clutter from the Pentagon: 'Invasion = 'reinforced protective reaction strike' ...need for 'credible second-strike capacity' and 'counterforce deterrence.' " p. 16.

Orwell: "In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible." p. 16.

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