Meaning Matters

Write with exactness; write exactly what you mean to convey. As I’ve noted before, the rules of communication are more lax when you’re speaking. But your reader only has the words on the screen. There are no other signals to give added context. With that in mind, drive out all ambiguity from your writing.

THINK ABOUT IT:
Just as you’d let another patron finish his drink at a bar, allow a swimmer to complete his workout before entering his lane.
EXACTLY: Just as you’d let another patron finish his drink at a bar, allow a swimmer to complete his workout before you enter his lane.

The difference is slight but significant. The first example is ambiguous regarding who’s entering the lane. The second example is unarguably clear.

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