|"Clutter is the disease of American writing. We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills, and meaningless jargon."|
"Fighting clutter is like fighting weeds--the writer
is always slightly behind. New varieties sprout overnight, and by noon they
are part of American speech."
"Clutter is the ponderous euphemism ..."
"Clutter is the official language used by corporations to hide their mistakes."
"Clutter is the language of the Pentagon throwing dust in the eyes of the populace by calling an invasion a 'reinforced protective reaction strike' and by justifying its vast budgets on the need for 'counterforce deterrence.' How can we grasp such vaporous double-talk?"
"Most first drafts can be cut by 50 percent."
To help students recognize clutter, Zinsser would place brackets around clutter so the students could decide if they agreed it was not doing useful work:
"Is every word doing new work?
Can any thought be expressed with more economy?
Is anything pompous or pretentious or faddish?
Are you hanging on to something useless just because you think it is beautiful?
Books on Buddhism. Books on Learning Spanish.
Poetry - Learn How to Write Your Own. Forests of California and Trees of the World.
Check our disclaimer.
Copyright © 2008-2013 by J. Zimmerman.
[Thanks for visiting.]