Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

title or description
As a teacher who helps first-year college students get better acquainted with English, I notice how people use words to convey messages.

Today I spotted this sign in an insurance agency window:

No soliciting permitted at this establishment.

Must be they were trying to fill the sheet of paper the message was printed on. After all, a simple "no soliciting" would have done the trick.

In The Elements of Style, Strunk and White zeroed in on this topic way back in 1918: "Omit needless words," they wrote. It was good advice 95 years ago, but it might be even more important in our message-saturated, short-attention-span age.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 23rd, 2013 11:09 pm (UTC)
Wise words.

(see how I kept it really brief up there? I was inspired by the wisdom of this post.)
Aug. 23rd, 2013 11:36 pm (UTC)
Aug. 24th, 2013 12:26 am (UTC)
Aug. 26th, 2013 12:13 am (UTC)
My mother's Bible was Elements of Style and I believe I still have her copy, as well as one she gave me.
Aug. 26th, 2013 12:16 am (UTC)
My go-to writing book is the Little, Brown Handbook. I have one in my home office and another at work, both within arm's length. I have only one copy of The Elements of Style, here at home.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

March 2017

Wish I'd Said It

Nota bene: “Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. ... I always feel like I’m not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn’t the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.” – Trent Reznor

“I hate to say this, but not many people care what you do. They care about what you do as much as you care about what they do. Think about it. Just exactly that much. You are not the center of the universe.” — Laurie Anderson

"The path's not yours till you've gone it alone a time." – William Carlos Williams

“Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.” – Twyla Tharp

"My definition of peace is having no noise in my head." – Eric Clapton

"The wreckage of the sky serves to confirm us in delicious error." – John Ashbery

"We are all here by the grace of the big bang. We are all literally the stuff of the stars." – Dwight Owsley

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." – Vincent van Gogh

"It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Forget about being a perfectionist, because entropy always wins out in the end." – Darren Kaufman.

"Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence." – Garry Shandling

"Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion." – Mark Twain

"There is no realm wherein we have the truth." – Gordon Lish

"Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere." – E.M. Forster

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." – Frank Zappa

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow