The Ink Rule

Sometimes I wonder what way is best.  Do I want to write faerie or fairy, theatre or theater, favorite or favourite, good by or goodbye?

In writing in a series– books, pens, paper, and paints–do I want that coma before the and?  Do I want punctuation at the ends of lines in poetry, or can I let a line break work for a coma instead?  For situations like this I have developed what I call my “Ink Rule.”  I ask myself which way uses the least amount of ink.  I figure if a printer is using ink to print my words, then I want to do my part to save as much of the ink as I can.  I imagine in a long document, I’m saving whole teaspoons of ink which will help to print other words.

  Was it Mark Twain who apologized for a long letter and said, If I had more time I could have written a shorter letter?  So, shorter is usually better because it uses less ink and saves time and money.  This is the Ink Rule I try to apply to my writing.

What are the  rules you apply to your writing?


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