Wordiness and Complete Sentences -Reply

Subject: Wordiness and Complete Sentences -Reply
From: Bill Sullivan <bsullivan -at- SMTPLINK -dot- DELTECPOWER -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 12:15:53 -0700

John Russell writes:
>>I'm writing a system configuration manual for a new product and the
developers are telling me that it's too "wordy." In place of my
complete sentences, they are recommending *in*complete
sentences.<snip>What would/do you do? Agree? Disagree? Thoughts?
Comments?

This reminds me of the old joke about the guy who writes his friend a
long letter and then scribbles a PS on it, saying: "I'd have written
you a shorter letter, but I didn't have time." More often than not,
it takes time to write short, tight, and well, and this frequently
leads to conflicts between writers who want to do a good job and
buyers who don't want to pay for more hours of work than they have
to. It is also a reason why many of us writers study the great
poets. How long did it take Shakespeare to come up with a given
great line? As a writer, you should learn to admire the process, and
the result.

The only thing I don't like about the comments from your engineers is
that they are telling you how to write. That should be your call,
pal. Other than that, shorten your strokes.

Bill Sullivan
bsullivan -at- deltecpower -dot- com
San Diego, California

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