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Simplicity helps the reader

DID you know that “ornithological specimens of identical plumage habitually congregate within the same proximity”? Or, briefly, “birds of a feather flock together”?



al, Helvetica, sans-serif”>I have written this letter after reading yet another article by one of those who delight in using the longest words they can find to try to convey (or mask) their meaning to their readers.


A number of these appear from time to time in our press; one in particular comes to mind.


None, I imagine, realises that simplicity helps the reader to understand the author’s meaning, and that they lose their reader’s attention very quickly if he has to wade through reams of prolixity (see what I mean?).


I was raised on a little book entitled Plain Words by Sir Ernest Gowers, which was aimed at getting an idea as exactly as possible from one mind to another in as simple a manner as possible.


Direct, precise, pithy; just like your reporters, I am delighted to say.

May I recommend this to your verbose article writers. Or, as a Northerner might put it, “Please cut the cackle!”


PNR Silversides,

Harare.

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