5Don’t Obfuscate: Writing With Clarity and Precision

Polonius: “What do you read, my lord?”

Hamlet: “Words, words, words.”

IMAGINE RECEIVING THIS MESSAGE FROM your friendly insurance company:

The purpose of this letter is to provide information you requested regarding there is in existence a grace period regarding payment of said medical insurance policy. Please be advised that the aforementioned is of a duration of 10 days following premium due date previously established at the outset of said policy.

How would you react? What curses might you mutter? Would you need to lie down because you suddenly feel dizzy? Probably both. It’s hard to believe such sentences could have been created by a living breathing person for another person to read. Who ...

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