Topics: Thought, Sentence, Phrase Pages: 1 (371 words) Published: September 16, 2011
William Zinsser
It seems that "clutter words" are kind of "fashion words." They may look pretty as we read a sentence, but they are distracting. William Zinsser, author of Clutter, says that clutter is "the laborious phrase that has pushed out the short word that means the same thing." The true is that most people including myself use word clutter carelessly, without intention, while other people use it in the hopes that they will sound more important, because it might be convenient in their profession. This is a clear example of how I tend to clutter carelessly, with no intention. About a week ago I was cleaning my closet, and during the process of going through box after box I asked myself, “Why did I save all this stuff?”, which I thought were useful, wonderful and cute, and then I blamed the few occasions I have had to use them. But I got to thinking how sometimes that is how it is with our writing. At one point, we think we need all those adjectives and “just” and “very” and “that,” but then, after we have walked away for a bit we come back and go through things and realize we don’t need it and it's just cluttering up our work and keeping us from being our best. But I think that “ponderous euphemism” and “official language” is sometimes necessary if is used with a good purpose. For example, the other day I walked into a book store looking for a cooking book and I ended reading a couple of pages of the book Body Clutter by Marla Cilley. “Why did the writer choose that title?,” when she could be more clear by using the word “Fat “ or “Obese”. I realized that this book is mostly for women who are scare and shame of their excess of weight. The writer decided to use “soft euphemism” in support to all those women that have the problem of embracing a difficult truth. The true is that in either case the use of such words should be avoided, regardless of the necessity. Then, let’s look for the clutter in our writing and keep it “Simplify, simplify,” as...
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