Writing tip: being too precise can bloat your writing

Don’t write in a way that’s too precise. It’ll make your prose unnecessarily long.

Example of being too precise

My husband reminded me of this when proofreading my December e-newsletter. I had written “As the end of 2016 nears.” He changed it to “As 2016 ends.” Good call, dear hubby!

I’d been concerned that December 6, the date on which I’d send my newsletter, wasn’t in the last week of the month. My husband understood that—in the context of my newsletter—it was good enough to see December as the end of the year.

This example demonstrates why it’s helpful to have an outside copyeditor. They can see things that you can’t because you’re too immersed in your work.

Precision helps sometimes

Being precise isn’t always bad. Sometimes it can condense your sentences, as when you write “December” instead of “the last month of the year.”