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April 17, 2008

Short & Sweet

You've heard many of times the saying "short and sweet". Well, I will keep this entry short and sweet. Editing to me means making things better. When editing, however, it means to not totally change the original work as to give it a "face-lift" but rather to suggest and give feedback on how to improve the original work to make it better. We have to keep the "elements of style" in mind.

Like last week, I'll re-enact myself as a professor . . . Okay, in summary, the elementary principles of composition are:

*Choose a suitable design and hold onto it
*Make the paragraph the unit of composition
*Use the active voice
*Put the statements in positive form
*Use a definite, specific, concrete language
*Omit needless words
*Avoid a succession of loose sentences
*Express co-ordinate ideas in similar form
*Keep related words together
*In summaries, keep to one tense
*Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end
(Strunk, 1972, p. 10-27) . . .

Although reading text from earlier than the 21st century may seem ancient and outdated, there are elements that never change. Language may change over time, but the aforementioned elements remain constant. In addition, they are labeled "elementary principles". When I think of elementary, a phrase that constantly comes into mind is elementary/grade school. There, I strongly feel that foundations and footprints for life are set. We constantly grow as the years go by; however, I believe our elementary years are when we are molded. Elementary may mean basic, but some basic concepts are the root of life. It is like that book, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten".

Therefore, keep these principles in mind. These are the building blocks of language. These will help you in any writing. I will take one of the principles to heart--"Omit needless words". On that note, I will leave with this one recommendation of keeping the elementary principles of composition in mind. Once again, they are:

*Choose a suitable design and hold onto it
*Make the paragraph the unit of composition
*Use the active voice
*Put the statements in positive form
*Use a definite, specific, concrete language
*Omit needless words
*Avoid a succession of loose sentences
*Express co-ordinate ideas in similar form
*Keep related words together
*In summaries, keep to one tense
*Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end