T. Clifford Allbutt on Writing


Meaning Over Image

We must not become distracted by flowery prose. Instead I offer a warning: if you write solely based on aesthetics, you will lose your message. Even Virgil or Tennyson at their poetic height move us with the substance of their words.

But....

Nevertheless, bad prose is bad business, even if the badness is nothing more than discord.

For Example:

Suppose you have written, "recurrences of this kind are found to abound."
Sir T. Cliffort Allbutt, Notes on the Composition of Scientific Papers (1923) Revised by Matt Bruflodt for a modern audience.

Thought: It's no wonder that Modernism was born out of a world where this guy was writing words on paper--words about writing, no less!

Thought 2: I now know that cockloft is (or was) a word and my day is now better for it.
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