This is a swift age. There is no time for reading long and tedious communications. To command attention, our ideas must be expressed forcibly, and at the first reading must carry conviction. No better example of this can be found than in the advertisements of our large department stores - or in the letters written by heads of great houses in course of their large correspondence - at the same time force should not be sought at the expense of ease and unity of style. We can define a forcible sentence as one which carries conviction - impres-sion sion when read.
To secure force of expression :
(1) Choose strong, apt, and meaning words.
(2) Use striking figures or illustrations.
(3) Place the most important thing last and secure an impressive arrangement of words.
(4) Omit needless elements, and secure consequent conciseness of expression.
(5) Employ short, rather than long sentences, and select as modifiers single words and phrases, rather than clauses.
Say, "Henry was inclined to be lazy." Rather than "Henry's tendencies were in the direction of indolence."
Say, "Wishing me to become a scholar, my brother sent me to an academy. "Rather than, " My brother felt that he would like me to become a scholar, and so he sent me to an academy."
Say, "A physician who was called, announced that the man had smallpox. This, of course, caused a panic in the household." And not,
"It having been decided to call a physician, when he arrived he said that the disease that the man had was smallpox, and this, of course, produced a great deal of excitement among the people in the house."
An Easy Style is secured when the sentences are agreeable to the ear and are easily spoken. Cultivate the habit of framing sentences mentally before writing them; harsh sounding and awkward words and phrases will then be avoided and harmonious expressions will be used in their places.
Avoid the use of high sounding words and phrases and disagreeable repetition of words or sounds. Avoid also the crowding of too many thoughts into one sentence.