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# Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no

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Director
Joined: 01 Feb 2003
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Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no [#permalink]

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21 Feb 2005, 20:58
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Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell

Was just reading the above from the webster site - can anyone explain the last construction? - "but that every word tell" ???
Director
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21 Feb 2005, 21:32
It is using the Idiom Not X But Y.

not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell

Here, the author is also using the subjunctive 'requires that', so you need base form of the verbs (make, tell).

but that every word tell is a short way of saying 'make every word of your sentence have a purpose'.

Hope this helps.
Director
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21 Feb 2005, 21:52
oops...I almost forgot that use of "tell"

thanks for pointing it out!
21 Feb 2005, 21:52
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