Mike Cote's Business Editor's Notebook: Tastes great, less filling
I tried to accept the backhanded compliment with grace as this gentleman went on to suggest that perhaps I get paid by how much space I fill. But it got me thinking. What's wordy? And did he mean I use too many words to construct each sentence or was he saying that the columns I write are simply too long?
It would have been easier to dismiss the critique if my mother hadn't said pretty much the same thing a week later. "I tried to read your column, but it was so long! I'll read it later."
So this week, we're serving up Sunday like a bag of Popchips, which have 40 percent fewer calories than the leading brand of regular potato chips. That 1,000-word column too long for you? Here's one with 40 percent fewer words because we realize how busy you are and that those rose bushes need pruning and the kids need help with their homework. Who has time to read?
-- The U.S. tax code. The 2013 edition of the Internal Revenue Code is 4,037 pages long, according to Andrew L. Grossman, an attorney with Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation. And that includes hundreds of pages of supplementary material, he said in an April column for Slate.
That's still too long: 1,550 pages sounds so much better. We can start by deleting the section that includes the Alternative Minimum Tax.
-- Business meetings. Forty percent fewer meetings and meetings that are 40 percent shorter.
-- Postings on Facebook about puppies. Because I am unable to resist a two-minute video of an Alaskan Malamute having a conversation with an infant.
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