Page:The Craftsmanship of Writing.djvu/206

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THE QUESTION OF CLEARNESS

as patent-right papers or international treaties, where the first translator turns the original from English into French, and a second translator reconverts it into English,—and if the last version differs from the original, the translation must be all done over.

But besides the practical method of experimenting with your writings on your friends, there are a few simple principles to keep in mind that will often save you from stumbling. Do not let rules of rhetoric and style stand in the way of clearness; cheerfully break any one of them rather than be obscure. It may be villainously bad style to allow the same word to recur half a dozen times upon a page; but it would be better to repeat that word half a dozen times within a single line rather than to lack clearness. Professor Barrett Wendell offers a case in point when he writes:

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