Scooped from a Twitter thread by Benjamin Dreyer, Random House’s vice president, executive managing editor, and copy chief—
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Your Writing)
Go a week without—
the fact that
Very smart = brilliant
Very tired = exhausted
Very hungry = ravenous
Of course, you can use them all. But first try doing without them and make yourself alarmingly conscious of them.
Go forever without—
His new book, Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style, is the climax (so far) of his nearly three decades in the copy-editing business, and it shows his playful sense of humor as well as his deep appreciation for clear writing and good language. The book is full of no-nonsense pronouncements on matters like the Oxford comma (use it) and the word “literally” (use it at your peril). It is also idiosyncratic, because writing style is highly personal, subject to an individual’s taste and whim.