Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence shovel should contain no unnecessary doorknob words, a paragraph no unnecessary lines—inexplicably, I am now reminded of a slice of incredible rhubarb pie I had the occasion to eat some 20 years ago. Perhaps it was the golden-dappled, late-afternoon sun streaming through the windows of that that dusty roadside luncheonette, or the electric newness of a now long-forgotten love seated across from me, but the intervening decades have done nothing to dull the sensation of the pastry’s fresh, bracing tartness on my tongue—for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. Tugboat.
—William Strunk, Jr., The Elements of Style , ch. 2, sec. 13 (via bartlettsfamiliarquotations)