“The approach to style is by way of plainness, simplicity, orderliness, sincerity.”
Yesterday I read an old copy of The Elements Of Style that belonged to my grandfather.
After reading the whole thing, reminding myself of the benefits of brevity and original (but not cute) style, I found scribbles in the back my grandfather had written. The pencilled handwriting looked methodical but rushed.
I will lie down.
I lay down last night… (Is this right? I think it is. Past of lie is lay, I believe)
I was lain to rest.
I was lying down.
Lay the ball down.
I laid the ball down.
The ball was laid on the ground.
I was laying the ball down.
Even I need practice with the usage of laid and lied from time to time, and it put a smile on my face to see that my grandfather did too. I guess we all need a reminder from time to time, and this one’s for you. xo, m
“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 make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.”