On Writing Well: Strip it Down

When writing anything, one must strive for brevity and eliminate redundancy whenever possible. Doing so will result in writing well.

Take this sentence that I wrote today in an email.

I think it looks fine to me.

I thought that seemed too long, and I wrote.

I think it looks fine.

I didn’t need the “to me” part because obviously my statement is of my opinion. There’s no need to state that. Then I wrote.

It looks fine.

That’s all I needed to say. The “I think” was as unnecessary as “to me.” Unless I’m referring to someone else’s thoughts, the email recipient is assuming that what I’m saying is what “I think.”

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