When polishing your sentences, pay attention to the nuances of word order. To my eye (and ear), placing “short” before “long” works best. This applies to both sentences and lists.
Here’s a simple example: “He was well respected and loved in the academic community.” I changed it to: “He was loved and well respected in the academic community.”
Because “loved” is 5 letters and “well respected” is 13, it makes for a smoother read if the longer phrase follows the shorter word. See if you agree.
Another example: “Good leaders don’t waste time, effort, financial resources, or opportunities.” This becomes: “Good leaders don’t waste time, effort, opportunities, or financial resources.” The shift creates a tidy parade of words from short to long. Easier to follow! [Read more…]