Wit’s soul

There are two terrible questions a person should never ask.

“Can I ask a question?” Grammatically incorrect, and you already did.

“How long should the paper/article/column/video be?” As long as it needs to be and as short as possible.

I always try to cut another 100 words or lose a few seconds. Erase adverbs. Lose passive voice. Tighten sentence construction. Trim that scene by a few frames.

Plenty of writers have advice for keeping creative work short, simple and straightforward, but this video is perhaps the most visually interesting case for brevity.

Ah, but you readers are smart enough to know a flip side always exists for good advice. Life would be too easy and less rewarding if only one path lay ahead.

Six of these? No, a half-dozen of those.

E.B. White favored brevity and clarity, but being a polymath, he’s also given us a wonderful case against the sharpest knife and the delete key.

“Writing is not an exercise in excision, it’s a journey into sound. How about ‘tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow’? One tomorrow would suffice, but it’s the other two that have made the thing immortal.”

Few words speak wonders. Sometimes a few more work better.

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