Chapter 5. Omit Text reading “needless” stricken off. words

THE ART OF NOT WRITING FOR THE WEB

Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left.

—KRUG’S THIRD LAW OF USABILITY

Of the five or six things that I learned in college, the one that has stuck with me the longest—and benefited me the most—is E. B. White’s seventeenth rule in The Elements of Style:

17. Omit needless words.

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.1

1 William Strunk, Jr., and E. B. White, The Elements of Style ...

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