The Sports Authority store flyer in Sunday’s paper announced “CYBER WEEK IS HERE!”
Last November, an article in Forbes.com said retailers were “expected to extend Cyber Monday throughout the week.” The online shopping trend continued in 2015. It might be the first Monday of Advent for some, but for most Americans, it’s time to fill their online shopping carts with stuff.
Buying and selling is nothing new. It’s been going on throughout human history.
Judging by the volume of virtual and physical ads, mailers, and flyers, I conclude there has never been a better time to buy stuff and have it delivered on my doorstep or in my post office box. I’m not opposed to this, although as Handy skimmed through the flyers today I thought “those flyers are full of needless stuff.”
Technology brings an avalanche of stuff, including words. All day long, we have words to sift, parse, and interpret. There are binary words, fighting words, trending words, texting words, and silly words. Some words are more popular than others. Everyone has a voice in the new democracy of words. How could I be opposed to this? I love words.
Nevertheless, today I’m thinking about William Strunk, Jr. and The Elements of Style. Rule 17, “Omit needless words.”
Last week, I got a letter from my friend Samantha. Our recent correspondence has included a discussion of texting and whether or not it is edifying. We’ve had similar correspondence about Facebook. She then sent me one of her favorite sayings of King Solomon, from the Book of Ecclesiastes. “A fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.” (No, it’s not “a multitude of words.” King James omitted needless words way before The Elements of Style.)
This window once featured an avalanche of live diners.
Maybe they ate cake. Now it’s a hair salon and spa.
Omit needless words.