Just this goy...

Monday, February 01, 2010

I love Strunk's Elements of Style. Yes, the 1918 version, before E.B. White joined his name to the foundational style text. Most especially, I love Rule #13, and this brilliant one-paragraph essay on writing:

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 his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.

Today I received the following, excerpted, bit:

I think reducing the bylaws to the boilerplate in order to speed up the process would be overkill. Can we look through Amgine's minimum version and make sure that every minimum clause is represented in the longer draft bylaws?

Can anyone explain to me why one would wish to include more than what is necessary?

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