Tag: Clarity (home)

Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style.

permalink source: Matthew Arnold
tags: Clarity

MacDonald has the gift of compressing the largest amount of words into the smallest amount of thoughts.

permalink source: Winston Churchill
tags: Clarity, Insults, Politics

The reserve of modern assertions is sometimes pushed to extremes, in which the fear of being contradicted leads the writer to strip himself of almost all sense and meaning.

permalink source: Winston Churchill
tags: Clarity, Judging

If it takes a lot of words to say what you have in mind, give it more thought.

permalink source: Dennis Roch
tags: Clarity, Communication, Silence, Simplicity

Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very"; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.

permalink source: Mark Twain
tags: Clarity, Communication

A mist from the pulpit is a fog from the pew.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Clarity, Communication

This month's Handy Vocabulary Word is "didapper." The American Heritage Dictionary (Third College Edition) gives this definition for "didapper": A small grebe, such as the dabchick.

permalink source: American Heritage Dictionary
tags: Clarity, Humor

There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult.

permalink source: C.A.R. Hoare C.A.R. Hoare
tags: Clarity, Simplicity, Programming

I cannot overemphasize the importance of good grammar. What a crock. I could easily overemphasize the importance of good grammar. For example, I could say: "Bad grammar is the leading cause of slow, painful death in North America," or "Without good grammar, the United States would have lost World War II."

permalink source: Dave Barry, "An Utterly Absurd Look at Grammar"
tags: Clarity, Communication

When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.

permalink source: Enrique Jardiel Poncela (Reader's Digest January 1995)
tags: Clarity, Communication

Learn a new word each day: Arbitrator ar'-bi-tray-ter: A cook that leaves Arby's to work at McDonald's. Avoidable uh-voy'-duh-buhl: What a bullfighter tries to do. Baloney uh-lo'-nee: Where some hemlines fall. Bernadette urn'-a-det: The act of torching a mortgage. Burglarize ur'-gler-ize: What a crook sees with. Control kon-trol': A short, ugly inmate. Counterfeiters kown-ter-fit-ers: Workers who put together kitchen cabinets. Eclipse i-klips': What an English barber does for a living. Eyedropper i'-drop-ur: A clumsy ophthalmologist. Heroes hee'-rhos: What a guy in a boat does. Misty mis'-tee: How golfers create divots. Paradox par'-u-doks: Two physicians. Parasites par'-uh-sites: What you see from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Pharmacist farm'-uh-sist: A helper on the farm. Polarize po'-lur-ize: What penguins see with.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Clarity, Language

Patient: It's been one month since my last visit and I still feel miserable. Doctor: Did you follow the instructions on the medicine I gave you? Patient: Sure did! The bottle said "keep tightly closed."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Clarity, Communication, Health

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permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Books, Clarity

Despite the "Do Not Touch" signs, a museum was having no success in keeping patrons from touching--and soiling--priceless furniture and art. But the problem evaporated overnight when a clever museum employee replaced the signs with ones that read: "Caution: Wash Hands After Touching!

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Clarity, Communication, Creativity

During the 1960's, when the Green Bay Packers dominated professional football, their legendary coach, Vince Lombardi, would begin each preseason training camp with the same speech. He would gather his players together, pick up a football, look them in the eyes and say, "Gentlemen, this is a football." And then he would go onto explain the basics of the game. That may sound a little bit condescending, but history validates the wisdom of his approach. In his nine years with the team, Green Bay was 98-30 and won five NFL titles, including the first two Super Bowls. Lombardi understood that it didn't matter whether a player was an all-pro veteran or a rookie just starting out. If they hoped to be successful as individuals and as a team, every one of them occasionally needed to get reacquainted with the basics ... "Gentlemen, this is a football."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Clarity, Excellence, Experts

* How is it that flammable and inflammable mean the same? * Why is it that a jailer is someone in charge of a jail, but a prisoner is someone in prison?

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Clarity, Communication

There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, some freeways charge a toll, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb through the annals of history but not a single annal? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it? If teachers taught, why didn't preacher praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue? In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Clarity, Communication

Churchill's Team: Complementary Talents

The Prof will follow Churchill anywhere. Winston's motives for cultivating him are very different. Lindemann's many talents include a matchless gift as an interpreter of science for laymen. In the words of Sir John Colville, Lindemann can "simplify the most opaque problem, scientific, mechanic or economic," translating technical jargon into language which provides "a lucid explanation" and sacrifices "nothing of importance." Churchill loathes scientific terminology. He never even mastered public school arithmetic. The Prof provides him with the essential facts when he needs them without disrupting his concentration on other matters. Like radar, Lindemann's "beautiful brain," as Churchill calls it, will prove worth several divisions in the struggle to save England from Adolf Hitler. Less than ten years from now he will arrive at No. 10 Downing Street with clear, accurate charts which, by replacing statistics, present displays showing England's stockpiles of vital raw materials, the rate at which ships are being launched on the Clyde, the Tyne, and the Barrow, and Britain's production of tanks, artillery, small arms, and warplanes in terms the prime minister can understand with what Colville calls "infallible skill and punctuality."

permalink source: William Manchester, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill Alone: 1932-1940, 16
tags: Clarity, Preaching, Teams, Churchill