Posted by: Kate | January 22, 2016

Friday Quote

The writers must have enjoyed their cleverness as they laid on alliteration and fancy vocabulary, but peace of mind was the price you paid – pleasure. Loss of pleasure. Loss of a clear view. Why didn’t they realize that a sentence, like a person, can only take so much?

~Louise Hays “Alone in the Classroom”

The quote is about text books for older students, but as an editor and lover of clear communication, it struck me as applicable to so many forms of communication. When writers stop trying to be so clever, and simply say what they want to say, that is when their true voices and true intent shines. For me, that is what then makes powerful writing.

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Responses

  1. This actually made me laugh… ‘enjoyed their cleverness’… I have a huge problem with this in scientific writing. There are folks/colleagues who seem to think the bigger the words and more flowery the speech, the better the article. Perhaps they feel ‘smarter’ with those tools. When I read these, I am so distracted that I often miss the point. Simple is better.

    • What people don’t seem to realize is that simple doesn’t mean ‘dumb it down’. Simple means clarity. And simple is so much more clever, and I think the crux of the matter – harder to do well.


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