This remarkable little book, intended as a supplement for any course that requires writing, models a clear, step-by-step system for creating straight-forward, concise, intelligible and readable prose.
Lanham argues that the bad writing that seems inescapable in college classrooms as well as public communication today results from our attempts to imitate what he calls Official Style–the almost incomprehensible language laden with passive voice, prepositions, impersonal pronouns, and jargon born of the bureaucracy. This brief guide shows writers how to “translate” Official Style into plain, understandable English through the application of a series of simple rules. With wit and clarity, Lanham shows writers how to slice away as much as two-thirds of the excess verbiage with which they too often burden their sentences. Everyone who is willing to listen will come away from this book a better writer.
4. Skotison! (Intentional Obscurity)
5. Business Prose
6. Professional Prose
7. Electronic Prose
8. Why Bother?
Appendix of Terms
University of California, Los Angeles