Simplify, Simplify.

Since coming back to work at Drury, I’ve been reminded of how things get done in a big organization:
Slowly.
I’ve heard the cliche more than once: A committee asked to design a horse will come back with a camel (harhar).

True, sometimes that kind of outside-the-box creativity is spot on (i’m never one to backtalk creativity in the face of rules-following. nuh-uh.) but sometimes you just need a horse.
That’s it.
Not three meetings later.
Now.

This week I’m learning that a committee asked to design a brochure can come back with a novel, and I’m reminded of one of the golden rules of writing: simplify, simplify.
(Another golden rule: throw around Thoreau references as needed.)

Simplicity. The surest way to eliminate sentences that make you gag. Also the surest way to outsmart the English section on the ACT. 99% of the time, the simplest answer is the correct one.

(Pauses for a moment to recognize hypocrisy of own oft-verbose bloggery. Pause, Pause…okay.)

So back to the brochure. In the interest of being explicitly clear, people can turn:
11:30-1:00 Lunch
into
Lunch will be continually served from 11:30 to 1:00

And we will be continually eating it.

An editors’ listserv I subscribe to went apeshit last week over the use of “lagniappe” meaning, something given as a bonus or gift. This group of word-nerds is onto something: there really is something about just the right word.

Who wants a “gift” when you could have a “lagniappe”?
Who wants a boring old horse when you could have a zebra?

(Well, someone who wants a horse, that’s who.)

Sometimes lunch is just lunch.
Simplify.

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