59 Words That Will Drastically Improve Your Writing

Eugene Adams


The best writing advice I ever received was to omit needless words!

It’s hard to believe that a book written in 1918 is still relevant today. This 59-word excerpt from The Elements of Style shows that it has unquestionably stood the test of time.

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

This passage completely changed my approach to writing. It reminded me of when Steve Jobs said, “Simple can be harder than complex.”

“Flowery” writing with lots of unnecessary words isn’t optimal. The more unnecessary words you add, the worse your writing becomes. Similar to adding extra lines to an already perfect drawing.

I struggle and fail to keep it simple every time I write. But, the harder I try, the better my writing becomes.

So I challenge every writer to keep their writing as simple as possible while still communicating their ideas completely.

Even if you are not a writer, this is still good advice. Be more intentional about what you say or write. Leave out anything that does not need to be there.

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Certified Personal Trainer | Certified ESL Teacher |I mostly write about all things Southern California, but I also cover national topics.

Fontana, CA

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