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Clarity

 

Disciplines Argument > Virtues of Style > Clarity

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Speak or write with a constant focus on helping the other person understand what you are trying to convey. Make it easy for them to understand.

Use simple forms of the language, simple sentences and so on.   

Example

Eschew obfuscation. (not clear)

Avoid making things unclear. (clearer)

Be clear. (even clearer)

Discussion

Clarity is similar to Correctness in that it does seek to follow the rules of language, yet you can be correct and very obscure. Obscurity occurs when you are using uncommon words and archaic forms of the language that, although correct, are difficult to understand.

'Plain English' is a movement that seeks to spread clarity in speech and, particularly, writing.

Vices of clarity include using complex sentences and uncommon words in a deliberate attempt to assert authority by causing confusion. A common form of losing clarity is where there is ambiguity, such that multiple meanings may be given (again, this can be a deliberate device).

See also

Correctness, Sentences

 

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