Useless words no longer a problem now that we have space for them. Or, not?

In Style, The Art of Writing Well sixty years ago, F.L. Lucas wrote:f._l._lucas

[I]t is not only ill-mannered in the individual author to waste his hearers’ time; it is also a public problem. With nearly twenty thousand volumes published yearly in Britain alone [1955], there is a danger of good books, both new and old, being buried under bad. If the process went on indefinitely, we should finally be pushed into the sea by our libraries. Yet there are few of these books that might not at least be shorter, and all the better for being shorter; and most of them could, I believe, be most effectively shortened, not by cutting out whole chapters, but by purging sentences of their useless words, and paragraphs of their useless sentences.

Lucas was a veteran of Bletchley Park. Surely, he shared coffee breaks there with Alan Turing, the computer pioneer. Neither of them could have anticipated the Internet. Nor the cloud with its limitless room.

So, today we no longer need fear being pushed by prolixity into the sea.

Yet useless wordage remains ill-mannered. More so in the cloud.

Still we must purge. Our sentences. Our paragraphs.

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