Freedom from clutter: Follow William Zinsser’s advice

Glad to see one of my heroes is still kicking. At age 90, William Zinsser, author of “On Writing Well,” is blind but still helping writers avoid clutter. He is featured in the New York Times. The book is a classic, and I am proud to have it on my shelf. It is well worn. I can imagine the reporter’s trepidation about writing an article that he knows Zinsser will assess. Here’s a line from the story quoting Zinsser: “Clutter is the disease of American writing. We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon.” Priceless.


About msvoss

Melinda Voss, MPH, APR, is a freelance writer, editor and public relations specialist. A staff writer for The Des Moines Register and Tribune for nearly 26 years, she has won regional and national awards and taught undergraduate and graduate journalism courses at three universities. In 1999, she earned a master's degree in public health from the University of Minnesota after co-founding the Association of Health Care Journalists in 1997. Voss initially served as the association's unpaid coordinator, then became the executive director from 1999 to 2004. She then became the public relations director for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and served in that position until November 2012. She earned her APR, an accreditation in public relations, in 2011.
This entry was posted in Use of words and phrases, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Freedom from clutter: Follow William Zinsser’s advice

  1. Jamie says:

    I read that article and pulled my Zinsser off the shelf for a much needed reread. He’s amazing!

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