Search THE READING ROOM

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Get rid of clutter if you want people to read what you have written

V.R. Narayanaswami
And it is really not that difficult to eliminate clutter in your writing, as V.R. Narayanaswami helpfully explains in his regular column in Mint.

Wordiness is the bane of good writing, he advises. And he continues:

Many words are unnecessarily burdened with tags that do not add to meaning. “Advance forward” is a simple example. My list of words like “added bonus”, “final outcome”, “clearly evident”, “future potential”, “revert back” and “end result” runs to four pages.

There are some useful tips for novice writers, especially for those young people who hope to have a media career (when you think about it, there are very few professionals today who do not have to do any writing):

There are two kinds of lapses in writing: turbidity and turgidity.

Turbid means thick, muddy or cloudy. Your writing becomes turbid when you use inappropriate words and tangled structure.

Turgidity results when the writer tries to impress with pompous language rather than to convey meaning. Such writing makes liberal use of clich├ęs and buzz words.

Read the column in its entirety here: Getting rid of clutter in writing. And here's another illuminating piece by Narayanaswami on you should tailor the content of your message to your reader: Why writing should be about 'you'.

Also read: