Fun with Frugality

For years I’ve always gone grocery shopping according to what’s on sale.  Back when we’d been married only a few years and had small children, money was tight.  When something particularly nice would come on sale, I’d buy it and stick it in the freezer for a special occasion.

Inevitably something major would break down that was expensive to repair or replace.  That usually meant I’d have to put off grocery shopping until next payday, so we’d subsist on the items we’d stocked up on.  Thus the “special occasion” wound up being a financial crisis, and I’d pull out those nice cuts of meat to cook for our meals.

Hubby noticed this trend and joked, “Well, we’re broke again … we’re gonna have to start eating steak and lobster.”

Concise writing is the steak and lobster of the reading experience.  Perhaps because writing is ten percent inspiration and ninety percent perspiration, we can be guilty of sounding like we’re turning in a freshman assignment, and focused more on reaching the specified word count:

The question as to whether geese make good lawn mowers or not is a subject that many people haven’t considered.  Besides the fact that geese do keep the grass trimmed to a manageable length, they can also be used for fertilization purposes.  Just be aware that this is the reason why walking where they’ve mowed should be done in a careful manner.

One way to rewrite this more concisely is:

Many people haven’t considered whether or not geese make good lawn mowers.  Besides geese keeping grass trimmed to a manageable length, they also fertilize it.  Just be aware of walking carefully where they’ve mowed.

Frugality renders a passage more vigorous when there aren’t a bunch of surplus words weighing it down.  We don’t need to say this is the reason why or that is the subject we’re discussing.  The reader understands that already and wants to dig into the story.

Remember, you’d rather have steak and lobster than have to step around all that fertilizer….

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