7 comments

  1. “An average sentence, in a German newspaper, is a sublime and impressive curiosity; it occupies a quarter of a column; it contains all the ten-parts of speech—not in regular order, but mixed; it is built mainly of compound words constructed by the writer on the spot, and not to be found in any dictionary—six or seven words compacted into one, without joint or seam—that is, without hyphens; it treats of fourteen or fifteen different subjects, each enclosed in a parenthesis of its own, with here and there extra parentheses which re-enclose three or four of the minor parentheses, making pens within pens; finally, all the parentheses and re-parentheses are massed together between a couple of king-parentheses, one of which is placed in the first line of the majestic sentence and the other in the middle of the last line of it—after which comes the verb, and you find out for the first time what the man has been talking about…”

    — Mark Twain, “THE AWFUL GERMAN LANGUAGE”

  2. About half of the stuff written today looks as if the writer was paid by the word and the actual information that takes 5,000 words could be given in a 500 word piece. I don’t mind additional information that has meaning and amusement but run on drivel and word count seems to be the objective perhaps it was so in the ancient days too.

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