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December 25, 1991

Why Not Say It Clearly: A Guide to Expository Writing

Author Affiliations

University of Delaware Newark

University of Delaware Newark

JAMA. 1991;266(24):3487. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470240109046

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Because writing is difficult, those of us who write about writing approach the manifold problems from different angles, certainly from different perspectives. Especially, those of us who have been editors and who have spent long hours trying to make sense of the syntactic monstrosities in our colleagues' manuscripts (never our own, of course) have strong, personal views about the right way to write. In short, we have lived in a world of overwhelming sin; as a result, we have found religion and we are now out to save the world. Lester S. King's Why Not Say It Clearly is a summary of his religion.

I agree with most of Dr King's ideas, but I disagree with a few. These differences do not make him wrong; it is just that we don't always share the same idiosyncrasies or pet peeves.

I will now mention some of his pet peeves that I