Writers from Lake Wobegon

My husband has been editing his company’s 2009 legislative outlook that goes out to all the clients as well as everyone in the company in the tax line of service. When he was handed the draft on Friday, it weighed in at 48 pages. Last year’s outlook was 24 pages. As one of the partners at the firm likes to say, “If I’d had more time, I’d have written a shorter memo.”

It’s not that with the new administration there’ll be that much different from last year. It’s that some people in the world just don’t write well. Their technical skills outpace their ability to communicate in a clear and precise manner.

To paraphrase Carrie Fisher’s character from When Harry Met Sally, everybody thinks they can write well but they couldn’t possibly all write well. It seems like Lake Wobegon increases its population every year exponentially.


  1. Concise editing is a true gift! I also think it's easier to do on someone else's work.

  2. Well crap. Now I'm worried about writing something because I think I can write good comments but what if I'm really not and people who read your blog are tsk-tsking me for the horrible things I leave here? I think I'm getting an ulcer...

  3. I luv that quote, "Had I more time I would have written less." Have you seen the move, "A River Runs Through It" or some such with Robert Redford with the Presbyterian minister teaching his son to write. After reading his son's prose, he sez, "Good, now write it in half the words." :o)