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Must. Learn. To write. Shorter. Sentences.

I've been doing a lot of copy editing in the last year. It's satisfying work. The bad kind of satisfying. The drunk-on-self-righteousness kind of satisfying. The "this sentence is a pile of crap and I and only I can whip it into a work of art but not without first nursing some very unkind thoughts about the writer" kind of satisfying.

Power-drunk-jerk stuff.

Okay, I'm being a little hard on myself. I'm not that big a jerk. But I do enjoy getting angry at clunky, fatty, inefficient sentences. I enjoy pummeling them into submission. I enjoy the little rush of outrage I get in the process.

Here's what I don't enjoy so much these days: Looking at my own writing.

Don't get me wrong. I can write some good sentences. Elegant and efficient. But I also excrete some colossal steamers. And it's making me mad.

Here's how thoughts come out of me.

When I consider whether it's important to write short sentences I can't deny that, in more skillful hands, long sentences are, indeed, often quite effective and, when used as a form of artistic license, can serve as a form of Cormac McCarthy-esque poetry-as-power sort of device.

Here's how I want that to come out of me:

Yes, some long sentences kick ass.

I suppose the good news is that I'm catching more problems in my own sentences. The bad news is that I don't want to catch them. I want to write them perfectly in the first damn place. I can only hope that, slowly, that's what I'm learning to do.

In the meantime, I should probably lighten up on the freelancers I edit who don't know a dangler from a dingleberry.

Nah. That's not gonna happen.

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Upon perusing, ruminating,

Upon perusing, ruminating, and analyzing your latest epistle, are we to conclude that you are predisposed, prejudiced, and apt to view more favorably those sentences which express concepts, ideas, and opinions in a straightforward, unconvoluted, and abbreviated manner, as opposed to those which, though more detailed, analytical, and expressive, might be viewed by some readers thereof as being overly verbose, obtuse, and/or unnecessarly obfuscatory?

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Thank you so much for calling this to my attention!

I can't wait to listen to this (wait, that is, until I have two weeks' vacation or, at the very least, a long weekend).

Seriously, though, I like to stay on top of this stuff and I don't. So thank you!