Saturday, July 11, 2015

Brevity. Before It was Cool.

A recent study by Microsoft reveals that 67% of heavy social media users struggle to concentrate.

Ultrathin attention spans make brevity—or, more accurately, concisenessmore important to marketers than ever.

In his introduction to the 1979 edition of The Elements of Style, E.B. White praised his teacher and coauthor William Strunk for writing, fifty years earlier, "fifty-nine words that could change the world." 

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all sentences short or avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.

It's little wonder Strunk revered brevity. 

He was an English professor at Cornell; forced to read undergraduates' papers, he understood well there are limits to the patience of every reader—even an academic.
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