Thursday, December 08, 2005

On Mark Twain

I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English--it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them--then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.
- Letter to D. W. Bowser, 3/20/1880

I love Mark Twain. I remember reading this first quote in highschool. It made me happy to hear a great writer such as Twain support the style of writing that I tried so hard to maintain. Its always bothered me to have to read through so many extra, pointless words to get to the point. Another saying I loved was "let your yes be yes and your no be no." That one was in the bible. In other words, give a definite answer. Don't be wishy washy. Say what you are going to say!

I left a snarky comment on someone else's comments section about this very thing. This person doesn't have a blog of their own, that I know of. Yet, he or she chooses to leave very long and frequent comments on other people's blogs. Its not even that this person doesn't have anything to say. Apparently they have much to say, but the forum they choose is not their own.

I kind of feel bad for leaving the comment where I did. But where was I supposed to leave it?