Johnson: Style: Briefly | The Economist

Why do people write more than they should, when most people find writing difficult? This may be because during their education, young writers are given a kind of assignment that may do lasting harm: they are told to write papers to minimum lengths. Most rookie writers do not have enough to say to fill the space easily, so they reach into a bag of terrible tricks: needless information, repetition, using long words where a short ones will do, three words where one will do, and so on. These habits persist.

R.L.G., Johnson: Style: Briefly | The Economist.


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